A Christmas Tradition for People of Faith
Some time on Christmas Day, my family will press 'pause' on all the busy-ness. We'll set aside new Christmas toys, we'll stop worrying about 'what's next' on the to-do list, we'll put down our glasses and our cookies. The occasion is a long slow telling of the Chistmas story from the Book of Luke. The reader is my father, now 83 with a deeper, huskier voice and a solemnity that bears witness to a life of a deep and abiding faith. Over the years, his cadence has slowed, permitting Dad and listeners both to soak into our beings anew, each year, the true meaning of Christmas. When the children were small, the import of the moment brought even little-boy-Santa-excitement to a welcome stillness. As an adult, I treasure this moment when we gather in shared company, shared quiet and shared faith.
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
The Shepherds and the Angels
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."
So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.
MORE CHRISTMAS PRAYERS (click through for the prayers)
Sense & Serendipity ~ Christmas Rainbow Cake
"This post is a reminder for me (and for all of us) that God is still faithful in keeping His promises even if I don’t see any evidence of positive change. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. What a nice timing to be posting this. And regardless of how I feel, I still need to believe God’s word more than what people say about me. It’s not easy most especially when people don’t understand what you’re going through or what God spoke to your heart. But in the end, God always has a purpose for everything even if you don’t understand what is happening."
Godspace ~ Christ Has Come - Christmas Prayer
"It is already Christmas Eve in Australia and New Zealand so I hope you will forgive me for mixing Advent reflections and Christmas prayers today. I should probably put the Advent reflection up first this morning but as I am still an Australian I thought that I would start the day with a Christmas prayer."
breathing space ~ A Visual Christmas Prayer
"In the whirlwind of activity, may you stop buzzing for a while and find peace in the middle of the motion, and pause and reflect to find your own meaning in the madness..."
History.Net ~ Bing Crosby Nails It
"On the December 21, 1944 episode of his popular weekly radio program, the Kraft Music Hall, Bing had a few things to say after crooning a typically tender version of “Silent Night”. I think that his remarks are worth repeating, and will always resonate as long as we have loved ones at war ... "
Healthy Spirituality ~ Christmas Prayer by Robert Louis Stevenson
"Most of the time when I pray I say my own words, but find slowly reciting what others have written often opens my eyes to see in new ways. May these words bring light to your Christmas season and joy to your heart."
Knit by God's Hand ~ Santa's Christmas Prayer
Southern Lagniappe ~ The Season of Christmas
"The Season of Christmas is a time for Prayer and Thanksgiving, and I'd like to share this Christmas Prayer, which, I think, says it all ... "
And you, what's your family's Christmas prayer?
BlogHer food editor Alanna Kellogg wishes all BlogHers a joyous Christmas, including a moment of stillness, followed perhaps by a bite of Jesus' Birthday Cake.