A Christmas Eve Prayer for Those Who Don't Attend Church

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The Bishop's Blog

I don’t go to church very often, Lord.

I don’t go at all…well, I am here at Christmas.

I’m home then.  I feel drawn to it.

I like the Christmas Eve service.

The coolness of the air, 

the aroma of the candles,

the familiarity of gathering with strangers.

I feel like a kid again.  

It’s surreal.

 

I know it’s common to make fun of people like me.

What can I say?  I’ve drifted…

But something pulls me back

Are You speaking to me?

 

I connect with something in the sermon, sometimes,

but mostly it’s the music and the candles.

What is it about the candles?

Darkness and light.

Light and darkness.

 

I know about light and darkness.  I live in both.

I’ve got some of both in me.

And yet there is an impulse,

a movement to be closer to the light.

And so the flame of a stranger touches mine

and I sing the chorus, 

 

Son of God, love’s pure light

             Radiant beams from thy holy face…

 

That is the light, the face, the life I seek,

and in this moment, I am touching it.

And then a voice reminds me, 

in the echo of ancient words

that are always needed,

 

“the light shines in the darkness,

and the darkness did not overcome it.

 

I am speaking to you, Lord,

but on this night, from every conceivable direction,

you are speaking to me. 

 

And I am listening.



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