12 Days of Night Prayer for Christmas - 2

When do the Twelve Days of Christmas begin?   On Christmas Day itself - leading us to TWELFTH NIGHT, the eve of Epiphany, January 6.  Through these dozen days, Night Prayer will focus each evening on one of the many gifts the Christmas season brings us.  Tonight: the gift of shepherds keeping night watch...  No partridges in pear trees here - but you can sing my 12 days to the familiar tune!
On the second day of Christmas,
the good Lord gave to me:
    Shepherds keeping watch 
    and a Child born in Bethlehem town... 
You gave us shepherds keeping watch in a field, Lord
    - but not until you scared them out of their wits
        with a sky filled with choirs of angels!
They were ordinary folks, Lord, just doing their job,
    minding their own business,
        probably taking a midnight nap
            along with the sheep in their care...
But you woke them up!
You roused them from their drowsiness!
You called them to attention
    with a song of good news!

Christmas Day is over, Lord,
    and oh-how-quickly we get back,
        we return, to business as usual!
It doesn't take us long
    to resume our old routines
and soon enough we'll start to nod,
    to nap, to fall asleep, 
to drift  from what just yesterday
    commanded our attention...

So treat us as you did the shepherds, Lord!
Shake and rouse us! Wake us up!
Call us out wherever we may be:
    at work, at rest, 
    asleep in our beds or on the job
        - and give us, Lord, good news! 
Surprise us with your message 
    meant to stir us up and give us hope 
- hope enough to share with those 
    who've little left to hope for...

Interrupt our ordinary lives,
    doing the same-old-same-old in ordinary ways;
meet us where we are, where live, Lord, 
    in our homes and where we work,
        where we play and where we learn,
in any place where you might catch us unawares:
    knock us off our pins and take us by surprise!
Then draw us, Lord, to find you, 
    most extraordinary One,
in our ordinary stories, in our ordinary ways
- as you drew the humble shepherds 
    to an ordinary place and your extraordinary birth...
Help us find you at all times,
    in every circumstance and moment,
for you, Lord, are Emmanuel:  God... with... us
    in every time and place...
You gave us shepherds, Lord, 
    to shepherd us to you:
now help us shepherd one another
    with the hope your message brings...

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...

Wake From Your Sleep by Dan Schutte
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Wake from your sleep, a Savior is born. 
God's holy child gives light to this morn, 
all our darkness to dispel. 
Praise to our God whose glory we tell. 
Come from your fields as shepherds of old. 
Welcome this child whom prophets foretold. 
 God has made the earth his home. 
 Praise to our God, the Savior has come. 
Stay with us now, O Lord of the earth. 
Make of our hearts a place for your birth. 
Though our cares be great or small, 
 Jesus the Lord, be born in us all. 
Now shall the earth take joy in her tears. 
Now shall our hearts be turned from their fears. 
All the earth shall sing God's praise 
Jesus the Lord, be born on this day.




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