Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Prayer

O Lord, how hard it is to accept your way. You come to me as a small, powerless child born away from home. You live for me as a stranger in your own land. You die for me as a criminal outside the walls of the city, rejected by your own people, misunderstood by your friends, and feeling abandoned by your God.

As I prepare to celebrate your birth, I am trying to feel loved, accepted, and at home in this world,

and I am trying to overcome the feelings of alienation and separation which continue to assail me.

But I wonder now if my deep sense of homelessness does not bring me closer to you than my occasional feelings of belonging.

Where do I truly celebrate your birth: in a cozy home or in an unfamiliar house, among welcoming friends or among unknown strangers, with feelings of well-being or with feelings of loneliness?

I do not have to run away from those experiences that are closest to yours.

Just as you do not belong to this world, so I do not belong to this world.

Every time I feel this way I have an occasion to be grateful and to embrace you better and taste more fully your joy and peace.

Come, Lord Jesus, and be with me where I feel poorest.

I trust that this is the place where you will find your manger and bring your light.

Come, Lord Jesus, come.


May you and your family have a blessed Christmas, comforted in His ever-loving arms,

Prayer ~Henri Nouwen, The Road to Daybreak


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