Advent Day 29: Christmas Day – Where the Light Begins …

Song: Emmanuel
Album: God He Reigns (Hillsong Worship)

A Prayer for Christmas

God, give us eyes this Christmas
to see the Christmas star,
And give us ears to hear the song
of angels from afar …
And with our eyes and ears attuned
for a message from above,
Let Christmas angels speak to us
of hope and faith and love —
Hope to light our pathway
when the way ahead is dark,
Hope to sing through stormy days
with the sweetness of a lark,
Faith to trust in things unseen
and know beyond all seeing
That it is in our Father’s love
we live and have our being,
And love to break down barriers
of color, race, and creed,
Love to see and understand
and help all those in need.
— Helen Steiner Rice from The Poems and Prayers of Helen Steiner Rice

A Blessing for Christmas

Perhaps it does not begin.
Perhaps it is always.

Perhaps it takes
a lifetime
to open our eyes,
to learn to see
what has forever
shimmered in front of us— Continue reading “Advent Day 29: Christmas Day – Where the Light Begins …”

Advent Day 27: The Gift of Christmas …

The American Declaration of Independence says we have an “unalienable right” to the pursuit of happiness.  God created us to be happy and joyful “in this world and the next,” and Jesus says the same several times in John 14- 17.  The only difference between the two is that any happiness that is demanded from life never becomes happiness because it is too narcissistically and self-consciously pursued.  The “joy the world cannot give” (John 14:27)  always comes as a gift to those who wait for it, expect it and make room for it inside themselves. The first is self-assertion, the second is self-surrender. The first is taking; the second is receiving. The two entirely different human dynamics.  You do not catch a butterfly by chasing it.  You sit still and it alights on your shoulder.  Then is chooses you. That is true happiness.
— Richard Rohr from Preparing for Christmas

Giving and Receiving

This prayer is based on the scriptural imperative to give of what we have received. Our gifts are recalled and named so we can see our abundance. We then respond with our willingness to share this abundance with others … Continue reading “Advent Day 27: The Gift of Christmas …”

Advent Day 20: The Path of Descent …

The path of descent involves letting go of our self-image, our titles, our public image. I think this is one of the many meanings of the First Commandment: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3). What is at stake here is not just false images of God (which mostly serve our purposes), but also comfortable images of ourselves. That’s probably what the saints meant when they said we have to move to the place of faith, to the place of self-forgetfulness, of nothingness, which ironically is the place of abundance! Continue reading “Advent Day 20: The Path of Descent …”

Advent Day 05: Trust In The Slow Work of God …

Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.

And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow. Continue reading “Advent Day 05: Trust In The Slow Work of God …”

Seeking the Light: Advent Prayers …

Advent is the perfect time to clear and prepare the Way. Advent is a winter training camp for those who desire peace. By reflection and prayer, by reading and meditation, we can make our hearts a place where a blessing of peace would desire to abide and where the birth of the Prince of Peace might take place.
— Edward Hays from A Pilgrim’s Almanac

Continue reading “Seeking the Light: Advent Prayers …”