Oh, God, occupy my heart this Christmas.
Pitch a tent and move in all your necessities for life.
Set up stations of service:
one to heal me of my selfishness and discontent;
another to feed my spirit that is hungry for love and acceptance;
one to teach me the language of your blessedness;
another to show me how to offer grace.
Sing to my soul that longs for the music of eternity.
Dance around my busyness and calm my frantic mind.
Shout out to me about my pride and high-mindedness, and
convict me of my tendency to ignore your pointing finger that tries
to direct me to your work, your beckoning arm that I so easily
disregard, for surely you can’t be calling me to this low station.
On everyday Christmas morning, as I open again and again the gifts
that you give me, again and again,
slap my hand that sets these aside to strive for those you
have given to others, not me. Make me mindful
of squandered talents, time, and resources, and give me the need
to celebrate you with the work of my hands.
In this season of opposites, of abundance and abject poverty, let it be
my heart and not my credit card that overflows with love and grace.
Give me a generous spirit that withholds nothing, as you withheld nothing
from a world that rejected you, still rejects you, is unworthy of you.
Replace the noisy storm in my head with your peace and stillness,
quiet as a snowy night.
Surprise me with joy when I’m expecting anything else but joy.
And although I try to evict you when you’ve become a nuisance,
stand your ground, refuse to leave, and make a holy mess;
demand justice for all the times I insulted you,
denied you, neglected you.
When I call out the big guns, you just dig in and say you aren’t
going anywhere, no matter what I do. Say you are here for the long run,
and whatever it takes,
you are going to make yourself at home in my heart.
Amen and amen and amen.