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Today's Devotion provided by
Todd Clark

A Father's Wisdom

During these busy weeks before Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of Jesus, the miracle of his promise, and his incomparable, invaluable presence in our lives, we can be distracted by the seductive marketplace with its command to sell and buy now, promising to deliver joy through spending money. As the days get busier, I pause to give thanks for fond memories of past Christmas gatherings of dear friends and family. This year, I urge you to rest in the awe and comfort of the gentle, loving sway of beloved carols sung together at a candlelit midnight service.



I remember many of those services with my father, Rev. Deene Danforth Clark in New England-every Christmas eve he would lead the congregation out to stand huddled together on the front steps of the church, and, often under moonlight, holding small candles we would gently begin to sing... "It came upon the midnight clear...


I am delighted to share a Christmas prayer written by my Dad, in 1982. I am once again lifted and reassured with the grace of his still strong voice in my heart-- his call to herald the calm and bright celebration of Advent.


My dad wrote:


"Once again the sounds of Christmas have come visiting old friends; troubadours and story-tellers, bringing us messages of mystery and wonder...legends long cherished and promises to kindle anew the bright possibilities in all things.


It is the time of the Christ-child; the one Anointed, Who came to simple folks, amid ordinary circumstances; to bring an extraordinary word: that God-Almighty, maker of Heaven and earth, of hope and faith..wills to visit every heart on earth, in all times, and in all places and all lands... order to make whatever is cold, a warming place,
of whatever is lonely..a caring company;
of whatever is hateful..a humbling anew;
of whatever is weary with illness, age or grief,... a comforting,
since all of life, with whatever its limits and sadness, cannot completely dampen the spirit,
or extinguish the bright flames of hope-alive-in-the-world; which divine love can make possible.


"Joy to the World, we hear the Christmas angels, the great glad tidings tell,
O come to us, abide with us, Our Lord, Emmanuel."


Let the fresh winds of the Christmas-coming blow through the corners of your psyche and soul, sweeping away any shame or guilt, and filling all the corners with garlands of gladness, making whatever is dull bright, whatever is gray, gay; whatever is timid, bold- and whatever is full of wonder, to be wonderful!"


It is indeed a time of grace and wonder. And I pray that your moments of calm and bright lift you up and bring you peace and the joy of fellowship each and every day.

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