Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Eve of Christmas Eve

So excited; son Jonathan is to arrive Christmas eve and today is the eve of that wonderful event! Almost all the gifts are wrapped and under the tree; Dan is fast asleep after a challenging couple of days of medical procedures (glad to get it out of the way) and Sean is out for an evening of karaoke with other college kids from around town and those from high school days who are home for the winter break.

I spent the evening cooking ahead so I won't have to spend all my time in the kitchen while Jon's here. I learned that lesson while he was on the road with his band and used to travel through Davis with 8 or 10 other ravenous young men, eating lasagne, tacos, and anything else I could dream up to make in the millions of servings.

I spent so much time cooking I didn't get to enjoy his or the other guys' company, so I learned. Now the fridge and the freezer are full of meals I can just pull out and heat, adding a fresh salad here or there, and maybe some hot bread.

The prayer that is on my heart the most as we are only a couple of days from the Christmas celebration has to do with sharing table with one another. It's simple but I love to hear my husband offer the words after a busy day:

"Father, thanks for bringing us together. Thanks for the love and the food we share. Watch over us and our family, and keep us safe."

It's usually followed by describing what our day has been like, what our challenges have been, and what our "good news" is for the day.

King David of Israel had a prayer he shared in today's scripture. It comes from 2 Samuel, chapter 7:
David’s Prayer
18 Then King David went in and sat before the LORD, and he said:

“Who am I, Sovereign LORD, and what is my family, that you have brought me this far?

23 And who is like your people Israel—the one nation on earth that God went out to redeem as a people for himself, and to make a name for himself, and to perform great and awesome wonders by driving out nations and their gods from before your people, whom you redeemed from Egypt? 24 You have established your people Israel as your very own forever, and you, LORD, have become their God.

25 “And now, LORD God, keep forever the promise you have made concerning your servant and his house. Do as you promised, 26 so that your name will be great forever. Then people will say, ‘The LORD Almighty is God over Israel!’ And the house of your servant David will be established in your sight.

27 “LORD Almighty, God of Israel, you have revealed this to your servant, saying, ‘I will build a house for you.’ So your servant has found courage to pray this prayer to you. 28 Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your covenant is trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant. 29 Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, Sovereign LORD, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever.”

Isn't the king eloquent in expressing how blessed he feels to be cared for by God, and how reassured he is that God has shown faithfulness to him, his family, and his nation! David's prayer comes on the heels of God establishing covenant with him, suggesting there will never be a lack of favored leadership in Israel. It's a continuation of the covenant relationship God established with his people as far back as Noah, Abraham, and Moses. The New Testament sees this covenant fulfilled in Jesus, who comes as God's son but also as a son of David.

David's lyrical prayer, uttered hundreds of years in advance of the climactic fulfillment of God's promise, might be one of those that is so poetic and lovely that we ourselves feel inadequate when called upon to pray. Yet God doesn't grade prayers, nor are we required to imitate David's eloquence. It is enough for us to use the simplest of words spoken sincerely.

This week we have been reflecting on the fourth candle, the candle of Love, which offers Promise. A thing to hold dear is that God's promise was not only to David and the other leaders of our faith, but to us as well. We live in that promise of God's love today.

Prayer: "God, you established your throne in every heart which welcomes Jesus as king. We are grateful for your promise to be with us and to hold us forever in your love. Let each one build a house for you in our hearts. Amen."

Happy Christmas Eve Eve!

For further reading:

Luke 1:46b-55

Galatians 3:6-14

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