God has place this wonderful creation in our hands. As U2 sings, "It's a beautiful day, don't let it slip away." We have this one life to live on this beautiful planet so enjoy these reflections on God, faith, life, and music. "After the flood all of the colors came out. It's a beautiful day."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Prayer

Every Christmas I pull out old much loved movies and be moved by them once again. One of my favorites is The Bishop’s Wife. In this movie, one of the main characters Bishop Henry is leading a very busy stressful life. He is trying to build a magnificent cathedral to glorify God. Trying to build this temple is causing all sorts of trouble, for the woman who has promised to donate a large sum of money wants a temple to her late husband who she didn’t love in life and is trying to make up for after his death. So Henry is at the end of his rope with her demands and cries out to God,

O God what am I to do: can’t you help me, can’t you tell me. God please help me.

Henry says this prayer and right a way we hear a door open, but no one is there. Henry turns around and there is Dudley an answer to the prayer.

Henry’s answer was on the way even before the prayer was spoken. For Dudley had been walking through town helping people in need – a blind man crossing the street, a baby about to be killed. He is meeting all those in Henry’s life who can restore the happiness he once knew. The answer to Henry’s prayer was already on the way even before the prayer had been spoken. The answer to the prayer isn’t what is expected or even what Henry thought he wanted. The prayer was a groaning of his spirit calling to God in words too deep to be spoken. The answer was what he needed and not what he wanted. For part of the prayer, was spoken by Julia, Henry’s wife, that life could be as it was before when, “We used to be happy and make other people happy.”

The Christmas story is the story of prayers and longing: the longing for a savior, a messiah who will come and lead the people out of darkness. One of the prayers spoken is by Mary knowing that she will be the mother of an incredible child, a child meant to save Israel.

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for You have looked with favor on the lowliness of your servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is your name.
Your mercy is for those who fear you from generation to generation. You have shown strength with your arm; You have scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
You have brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly;
You have filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.
You have helped your servant Israel, in remembrance of your mercy.

Mary must have been scared when she prayed this prayer, for she stays at her cousin’s house for three more months. Yes, she knows that God has a plan, but that plan seems to have wrecked havoc on her life. And, yet, everyone she meets speaks of the wonder that will come with this child.

May God guide your feet this Christmas and may you pray the prayer of your soul knowing the answer is coming in unexpected ways.

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