NIGHT PRAYER: Wednesday 12/16


Christmas at my house, back in the day...

This photo takes me to a place deep in my heart where some of my most cherished childhood memories are stored.  This was our family creche (we called it "the manger") which sat atop our television, on my mother's hope chest, in the den.  It was here that my parents first taught me the story of Jesus' birth.

And do you see a small church on the left, in a grove of four pines?  An interior light gave a warm glow from within and a tiny bell with a clapper hung in the steeple.  On the right are four members of a children's choir, each a candle with a wick on top which - we never lit! That little choir sang in our den from year to year.  This little church scene was a gift from my Aunt Dot who each year assembled a much larger tableau at her home on Sargent Street in Beverly, MA.  Oh, how well I remember all of this!

This photo holds the key to a storehouse of memories in my heart. Some Christmas memories bring us joy, others bring us tears...  let us pray...

All it takes, Lord, is an old photo, 
an ornament on the tree,
or a special song or carol
to open my heart to memories 
of Christmases long ago...

When memories bring me joy
let me revel in and cherish 
what my heart has kept so carefully 
for times like these 
when I so long to touch
once more
what's passed beyond my reach...

And when memories fill my soul
with loss, regret and hurt,
let your healing Christmas touch
mend what's broken in my heart...

Let my joyful memories give me faith
to find within my heart 
all those I wish were in my arms,
the ones I hold in love, in prayer,
in thoughts of Christmas past...

This season stirs and opens up
the treasures in my soul, Lord:
let me handle each one gently,
help me cherish all I find... 

Protect me, Lord, this silent night
watch over my restless sleep
that awake, I might keep watch for you
and asleep, rest calmly in your peace...


Silent Night by Chanticleer

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
'Round yon virgin Mother and Child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace
Silent night, holy night!
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord at Thy birth


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