The Night Before Christmas

This Christmas season came in like a flash of lightening. I barely remember really listening to Christmas music. I did make gifts and I hung a single strand of lights across my front window and I lit my favorite Douglas Fir scented candle... I also graded way too many student essays and printed tea towels and Christmas cards in preparation for my first pop-up shop. The first, hopefully, of many!

amie-longmire-night-before-christmas

And then, late on the 23rd, all but one of my siblings drove in from San Diego to celebrate. You see, Christmas Eve is also my Mom's birthday. This is the 2nd year in a row that we've had snow on Christmas Eve... it's pretty magical when that happens. 

On Christmas Eve, I also had the chance to write and read a prayer at our North End Collective Church service. I am always humbled and excited to create and share with the amazing community I've found in my own neighborhood. 

Here is my prayer for Christmas Eve:

O come, O come, Emmanuel 

And ransom captive Israel

That mourns in lonely exile here

Until the Son of God appear

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.

High King of Heaven, you understand that this human race is really more of a tightrope walk. A delicate balance between reason and faith, between all the things we can see and the millions of things we can't. It's not enough to live like this. It's not enough to avert our eyes and hug the walls. Or, shake our fists and wait for a regime change, a revolution, rescue. So, we stand under the blanket of a thousand stars and lean in to the core of who you are. You are light. You are love. This is more than enough. You are everything. 

O come, Thou day-spring, come and cheer

Our spirits by Thine advent here

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night

And deaths dark shadows put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Lord of All, you understand how long and lonely 3am can seem when we've been waiting for the phone to ring, waiting for the other shoe to drop, waiting for this exact moment to arrive. As we stride through varying shades of anxiousness and anticipation, we come closer to the raw edges of ourselves. We come closer to one another. We huddle around the fire, open our hands and breathe. Our breath escapes in dashes and dots. It lingers in the atmosphere and mingles with you. Father, come. Draw us closer to you. 

O come, Thou Key of David, come,

And open wide our heavenly home;

Make safe the way that leads on high,

And close the path to misery.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.

Gracious Redeemer, you understand that this house is always settling for something. Waiting for daylight to fill every last corner, sweep our shadows aside. So we fling open the curtains, throw wide the doors. You rush in like the high tide and there is nowhere to hide for you are brilliant, matchless, boundless, and great. Tonight we ask for more of your light, your love, your grace, your protection and peace in our homes and around the world. 

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might

Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,

In ancient times did give the law,

In cloud, and majesty, and awe.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Has come to thee, O Israel. 

Amen

****

This is Not the End,

Amie