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When the World Was Dark

During this Advent season, we've been exploring the ways that both darkness and light can be nurturing and holy. As we prepare to celebrate the birth of the Christ child while still plunged in the depths of a global pandemic, I wanted to share one of my favorite prayers for Christmas, which comes from the Iona Community of Scotland. This Christmas, may the friendly darkness, the friendly light, the friendly silence, and the friendly sound be with you and all those you love.

"When the World Was Dark"

When the world was dark

and the city was quiet,

you came.

You crept in beside us.

And no one knew.

Will you do the same this Christmas, Lord?

Will you come into the darkness of tonight's world,

not the friendly darkness

as when sleep rescues us from tiredness,

but the fearful darkness, in which people have stopped believing

that war will end

or that food will come

or that a government will change

of that the Church cares?

Will you come into the quietness of this town,

not the friendly quietness

as when lover's hold hands,

but the fearful silence when the phone has not rung

the letter has not come,

the friendly voice no longer speaks,

the doctor's face says it all?

We ask this not because we are guilt-ridden

or want to be,

but because the fullness our lives long for

depends upon us being as open and vulnerable to you

as you were to us, when you came,

wearing no more than diapers,

and trusting human hands

to hold their maker.

Will you come into our lives,

if we open them to you

and do something different?

When the world was dark

and the city was quiet

you came.

You crept in beside us.

Do the same this Christmas, Lord.

Do the same this Christmas.



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