Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Today's Readings for the Daily Office (Book of Common Prayer, p. 938)
Psalms 45, 46 (morning)
Revelation 22:12-17, 21
Christmas Eve (evening)
"By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." (Luke 1:78f)
It is dark. But I know the dawn is coming. It is Christmas Eve.
I remember the special excitement I had for this day as a child. There were those mysterious presents, hidden under their wrappings beneath the glowing tree. I always woke up and sneaked into the living room while it was dark to see if "He" had visited yet. I'll never forget seeing my first bicycle there in the pale darkness. It was wonderful. I could barely get back to sleep. Later, when it was early light, I had to wake up and act like I was surprised, after I had been thinking sleeplessly about that bicycle standing with such concrete realness so wonderfully close for so long.
We wait for so many longed for dawnings. Isaiah pictures the hope of an exiled people who will return home and the desert will bloom. "Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees." With God's help we can turn deserts into gardens. This lost darkness will not last forever. One day, soon, our eyes will be open and we will see, our ears will be unstopped and we will hear, our frozen path will be liberated and our silent tongues sing for joy. "And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away."
It is still dark. But the first grayness is beginning. It's too cloudy to see the morning star today. But I know it's there. Like a mother in labor, the earth turns to bring forth new life. Like the gift of a child, the new day is coming.
"The Spirit and the bride say, 'Come.'
And let everyone who hears say, 'Come.'
And let everyone who is thirsty come.
Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift." (Rev. 22:17)
It is exciting. Especially because it is nearly Christmas. But with just a little childlike wonder, every miraculous day could be Christmas.
"The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all the saints. Amen." (the last words of the New Testament)
Audio podcast: Listen to an audio podcast of the most recent Morning Reflections from today and the past week. Click the following link: Morning Reflection Podcasts
About Morning Reflections
Morning Reflections is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.
Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at www.missionstclare.com
Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site www.ExploreFaith.org at this location -- http://explorefaith.org/prayer/fixed/index.html
The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.
Visit our web site at www.stpaulsfay.org
Our Rule of Life
Lowell Grisham, Rector