NIGHT PRAYER: Wednesday 11/9

Even artificial Christmas trees die and so it was that last January,
   we laid to rest our rectory tree after its years of faithful service.
So this morning, I spent some time at BJ's and Home Depot,
   scouting out a worthy replacement and, necessarily, 
browsing through aisles of trees, lights, ornaments and inflatable
   reindeer, elves, Santas and sleighs
and all that led me to this prayer...

I'm here, Lord, not to rant and rave
   over the ever-earlier monetizing of your birthday
but rather, to take gentle and prayerful note that
    there are two kinds of people in the pre-Christmas world:
        those who can't wait for the holidays to come
        - and those who can't wait 'til they're done...

Kids are excited and some adults, too: all who love 
    the carols and gifts, the red and the green, 
the lights and the tinsel, the elf on the shelf,
    the shopping and wrapping and sending out cards, 
the wreaths and the trees, the snow on the ground,
    the mangers and merriment - even the malls!

But for some it's a season when all the above
    are reminders, occasions and triggers of sadness;
when memories are often more bitter than sweet
    and loneliness decks the halls of our hearts
when no gift can fill what what's missing inside
    and smiles can't hide the grief within...
Christmas exposes our vulnerable selves,
    opening and lifting our hearts to joy
while baring our souls to the wintry chill
    that comes with the end of each year...
So I make this prayer tonight...

Rejoice with those who rejoice, Lord,
    and weep with those who weep;
and be with those whose Christmastide
    bends 'neath the burden of sorrow
        while longing for joy at your coming;
whose faith is weighted by all they've lost
    whose hearts seek peace and hope in your birth...

Come again, as a child, Lord Jesus,
    melt our souls, our sadness and grief;
touch, mend and gently heal
    with the peace you promise to those you love,
        with the joy you share with those we've lost...

Protect us, Lord, while we're awake
and watch over us while we sleep
that awake, we might keep watch with you
and asleep, rest in your peace...

Tonight's music will touch your heart in tender places.
It's introduced with a few words from one of the composers... 
The Sweetest Gift by The Piano Guys
    featuring Craig Aven

If a video doesn't appear below, click here!

I’m not going to lie. 
Christmas really hurts this time 
Cause you’re not here to celebrate with me.
Tears fill my eyes. 
And memories flood my mind, 
As I place your ornament upon our tree. 
Although this year I have a broken heart, 
It gives me hope and joy as I remember where you are. 
You’re with the Son of God. 
You’re with the Prince of Peace. 
You’re with the one we’re celebrating 
And that thought amazes me. 
Sometimes I still break down, 
Grieving that we’re apart, 
But the sweetest gift is knowing where you are. 
You’re with the Son of God. 
Got your picture in a frame 
And a stocking with your name. 
Oh God knows it’s been hard letting go. 
And I can’t bring you back, 
But I’ll see you again. 
And oh, that thought is healing to my soul. 
I’ll miss making angels with you in the snow. 
I guess instead you will be singing with them 
All around God’s throne. 
And I know the Christmas season 
Was your favorite time of year. 
You loved to help us decorate our tree. 
But now that you’re with Jesus, 
I can’t imagine how you feel 
Cause He’s the one who bled and died 
Upon the tree for you and me. 





  1. Thank you so much for posting this beautiful song! In the past year, I have lost 3 important people in my life whom I love so much. This song is perfect to remind me that I will see them again and to be grateful they are with Jesus.


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