Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas prayer

"Thou shalt know Him when He comes, not by any din of drums,
nor the manner of His airs, nor by anything He wears;
Thou shalt know Him when He comes, not by His crown or by His gown.
But His coming known shall be by the holy harmony which His coming makes in Thee.
Thou shalt know him when He comes."

This anonymous text was set to music, and we sang it last evening during the Lessons & Carols service. During the reading of the scriptures, my soul softened in the warm, kind, sanctuary light. Memories of childhood church services sifted down like Christmas snow from a peculiar loft in my memory. The smell of white waxen tapers, the padded knell of organs pipes, the creak of wooden pews, dear faces and shadows thrown upon them from flickering candlelight- all this seemed to me old and new all at once.

Under the double-spell of both Word and song, I wished large and expansive wishes last night. Large wishes come easily when bolstered by the telling of miracles. Some might call these wishes positive thinking, but I know what the spark of heart-felt prayer feels like.

In the tinderbox of the presence of His Spirit, coached and kindled by His breath, a small flame came to life. Let's call it a Christmas Prayer, and it goes like this:

Because I know Him, I hope and wish and pray that you will know Him too.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding your childhood memories, you failed to mention Mary singing Silent Night....

9:50 PM  

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