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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Now your manger, shining bright,
hallows night with newborn light.
Night cannot this light subdue;
let our faith shine ever new.

Praise we sing to Christ the Lord,
virgin’s son, incarnate Word!
To the holy Trinity
praise we sing eternally.

Ambrose of Milan’s “Savior of the Nations, Come”
(tune: Nun Komm, Der Heiden Heiland)
from Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

When our family gets together for a meal, there is usually a tentative moment when we want to say grace but everyone is a little uncertain about who should pray and how to start. So, fairly often, our six-year-old granddaughter, Emily, gets the call. A few weeks ago she started, “Now I lay me down to sleep,” but then went on to be thankful for the meal, and her family, even her little sister. Later that night she asked me to teach her another prayer. Wow—that is not what I usually hear from Emily. Normally Grandpa is busy going from task to task following her orders, so I went to work. I wrote what I considered a hard (adult) prayer and an easy (kids) version. We were all together again on the first night of Advent, and I went over the two versions and asked Emily if she wanted me to help her with one of them. She said, “No, let me do it.” In a few minutes, after thinking for a while, Emily gave thanks for the meal; gratitude for her family, friends, and school; asked for help for those who need it; and wished love for everyone.

God has confidence in us to see the salvation of the world in a small baby in a manager; to find the solution to discord in the world in an expectant season; and to listen, think, and act with God as we help God’s kingdom to come.

God, thank you for having confidence in me. Help me to deserve it! Amen.

Written by Gerry Bloomer, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church

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