Oh, holy night.
This morning, I listened to the prayer for Christmas offered at this wonderful website. If you are a Spanish speaker, please check it out. Listen to the prayers. Be swept into the gentle quietness of preparation for this most holy night and then return daily for music, prayer, and Scripture to "pray as you go." For those of you who do not speak or understand Spanish, I offer this crude translation of part of this morning's prayer, which is truly an invitation into Christmas itself.
"It is time to remember with gratitude a story that is both ancient and new, a story that evokes another time, another place, and another era - but that also speaks of today, of here, and of now.
I invite you to contemplate, to come near, as if you were present at that birth, to the story of an eternal God who made himself a fragile baby, to the surprise of The Almighty who made himself weak, to the grandness and graciousness of Love made flesh, and to the truth of a God who is now a human word - a word of affection, of mercy, of love, a word that today is spoken to me.
I invite you to sing with me, with the Shepherds of yesterday, and the men and women who today continue to seek Him, with all those who live on the margins in this world, those who have no lodging, nor many certainties, but who rest in God.
I invite you to sing and be excited about God.
I sing peace for those who have fallen mute because they feel the lateness and absence of peace, those who suffer having lost patience, and those who are silent because hope has been taken captive.
I ask for peace for the many who cannot obtain it because there is no food for their table, because their bodies have forgotten what hugs are, because silence has taken up residence in their homes.
I speak peace, announce, and sing the baby, the Word, the Flesh, and the Eternal God - who sets fire to the darkness with tenderness, who gives light and shelter in deep winter.
I speak of peace, sing songs of Christmas, and tell of the mystery that converts a night into a Holy Night.
I pray for peace. I look at the world and promise to sing peace for those who do not."
Isaiah 9:6 - For unto us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Matthew 1:22-23 - All this took place to fulfill what the Lord
had said through the prophet: The virgin will be with child
and will give birth to a son, and they will call him
Immanuel - which means, "God with us."
I wish you deep peace on this holy night
and a most merry Christmas.