NIGHT PRAYER: Saturday 5/16

Sunset, dusk, twilight, night and bedtime, Lord:
all times we turn to you in prayer
as the day slips into nightclothes
and we slip into bed...

I'd guess that since the moon first shone
on those of us on earth,
we've turned at night to you, in prayer,
to drop into your lap 
all the trials and the troubles
we've carried through the day...

For how many tens of thousands of years, Lord,
have your children come to you at night
to snuggle in your strong, warm arms,
asking for a bedtime tale,
a story of your love and how so-many-times
you've rescued us and saved us
from the very things we fear the most...

This day's done and here we are, Lord,
lining up with all your children 
stretching back through history:
waiting for your blessing, 
waiting for a kiss goodnight,
waiting 'til you tuck us in 
and tell us one more time, 
how much we're loved,
how safe we are 
and how you'll be there in the morning
when we rise...


Tonight's song is a very old hymn, in Greek: the Phos Hilaron. This is an ode to Christ who is the Light in our darkness, the Light who cannot be extinguished.  

Translated as O Radiant Light it has been sung by Christians at evening prayer since the late third century.  Imagine how many burdens God's children have laid at his feet, singing this hymn, over all those centuries...

O radiant Light, O Sun divine  
Of God the Father's deathless face,  
O image of the light sublime  
That fills the heav'nly dwelling place.  

O Son of God, the source of life,  
Praise is your due by night and day.  
Our happy lips must raise the strain 
 Of your esteemed and splendid name.  

Lord Jesus Christ, as daylight fades,  
As shine the lights of eventide,  
We praise the Father with the Son,  
The Spirit blest, and with them one.


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