Keeping Christmas

Today was a wonderful Christmas Day.

Actually it started with a wonderful Advent, somewhat stress free, and filled with Christmas story, Christmas song and Christmas Scripture, thanks in part to our Christmas Term.

Holiday activities have been fun but not overwhelming – the December Duet recital for GraceNotes and Number One Son (who came home from GMU to partner with little sis at the piano), two services of singing selections from Dvorak’s glorious Mass in D at a local church, running the Cake Walk at the American Heritage Girls’ Christmas Party, and lots of baking in preparation of a little get together for a few friends.   Shopping was largely online, with just one or two jaunts to the local mall, but nothing exhausting.  We had fun decorating…  Number One Son came home, and we all went to see The Hobbit.

We’ve been hearing the prophesies of the Coming of Christ at the church we’re visiting, and putting ornaments on our Jesse Tree at home.  O Come, O Come Emmanuel has shifted from absent-minded tradition to genuine yearning.

On Christmas Eve we were joined by Papa Gene, the maternal grandfather, and Grandma Midge, the paternal grandmother,  for dinner and church.  We gathered again today for gift-giving and another dinner!  Grandma Midge brought cookies and kept up with all of the dirty dishes, and Papa Gene brought beverages and kept up the conversation!  We feel very blessed to have them both.  Big Brother is in Boston, so we didn’t get to see him, but we keep him ever in our prayers.

www-St-Takla-org___Holy-Face-of-Jesus-23

I turned to this page in my Prayers for Today: A Yearlong Journey of Contemplative Prayer (Kurt Bjorklund)  a few days ago.  The text is by Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen,  of the German pietist movement.   It is my prayer that these words will meet you where ever you are and however you are Keeping Christmas tonight.

Who is like you, Jesus, sweet Jesus?
You are the light of those who are spiritually lost.
You are the life of those who are spiritually dead.
You are the liberation of those who are imprisoned by guilt.

You are the glory of those who hate themselves.
You are the guardian of those who are paralyzed by fear.
You are the guide of those who are bewildered by falsehood.

You are the peace of those who are in turmoil.
You are the prince of those who yearn to be led.
You are the priest of those who seek the truth.

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