By Elizabeth MacDonald of Seaside, OR, USA
Collectively and individually, you are loved with an everlasting love that delights in each faithful step taken. God yearns to draw you close so that wounds may be healed, emptiness filled, and hope strengthened. —Doctrine and Covenants 163:10
Peace on earth hardly seems a possibility
When violence erupts in every corner,
When hatred is heard in the report of a gun,
And sorrow and pain are reflected in the eyes of children.
We frantically make plans for Christmas to come—
We bake, shop, wrap, trim the tree, sing, and party.
Yet Christmas eludes us and seems more distant.
A hunger arises in our souls and we search to make it whole.
We catch the echo of music from above us
And pause to listen to the ever-swelling strain.
Our voices begin to join the chorus born of stardust,
And we hurry with tired feet to find a sacred place.
We enter a stable, where cows and donkeys abide.
A place where a baby’s cry comes from a bed of straw.
Moving closer to get a better view of one so small
We kneel to touch tiny fingers and murmur a quiet lullaby.
And suddenly we know…we know…we know!
Here is the peace we seek for troubled times;
Here is healing for every wound in our lives;
Here is love and light that confronts darkness and hatred.
Here we have found Christmas…
Here where God meets us in the ordinary
And touches us gently like we are newborn babies.
Here we have found Christmas, a holy place in our hearts.
Advent Prayer Phrase
Anticipation deepens within.
Invitation to Spiritual Practice
Spend a few moments dwelling in God’s presence. Pay attention to where your heart feels drawn into prayer. What words, images, or themes in this story lead you to reflect on your own faith journey? What is God’s invitation to you this day?