A Prayer for a Dearly
and a Beloved Christmas Church Dinner
by Dee Wade
Author of all words,
originator of all notes that lead to the music of the spheres;
Rhythm-master behind all movement, from the pulsars and the quasars
in the far reaches of the universe, to the beat of the human heart,
to the lighthouse beacon that keeps sailors safe
in the darkest of nights.
Maker of all the worlds that have been, will be, and are,
every star, every planet, every comet, every rock;
You know what you make, down to the most obscure atom:
Immortal, Invisible God only wise you are
—we know things; you understand them —
you do not abandon what you create with such care.
You are all mystery, so different from us, so Other,
And yet; and yet —
You desire to come among us, even as a fragile baby,
in human flesh appearing, and not just appearing, but being, utterly so.
As one of us, one with us, and for us, you are pleased to tabernacle.
Which is more astounding — that you would love us or that you like us?
Us who are so unlovable much of the time and unlikeable the balance,
and despite how many of us don't feel worthy of any love, much less love divine.
It is on nights like this that we get a glimpse of you incarnation,
of your birth into this vulnerable, fractious, and often violent world.
We can only thank you for transforming your great mystery into our reality;
Your music became blood; your words became flesh; your heaven kissed your earth.
We thank you specifically for this gathering of your people, for congenial faces in familiar places. You know and care for each one of us, spicing each one of us with grace and forgiveness and openness to your wonders. We thank you for this food, those who have prepared it and those who set these sparkling tables.
Lord, it may happen that we will we forget about you while we savor this gourmet fare, converse with one another and listen to young voices blend into magical and haunting celebratory music. Please, Lord: from the storehouse of your kindness, we ask that you might overlook our inattention. It is only because we enjoy one another’s company. We are just so happy to be together on a night like this, a night glistening with faith, hope, and love. In your presence, Lord what a fellowship, what a joy divine is offered to us all. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be; world without end; Amen, Amen.