Each year, my family gathers nearly 60 family members for a holiday dinner in which I am in charge of reading a family prayer written specifically for the night- a tradition that goes back nearly 50 years with my grandfather. To wish all of my That Nashville Sound readers a very warm Christmas holiday, I thought today's post would be my family prayer shared with my family of readers. We wish all of you the very best of holidays filled with family, friends and food.
As this amazingly enormous and close family gathers today in your honor, it gives us an opportunity to reflect on all of those things that we are so incredibly grateful for.
We are first grateful for life. Grateful for all the warm loving homes that we’ve been placed in and for all the people that you’ve brought across our paths. We’re grateful for our beloved children, grandchildren, brothers and sisters, cousins, and friends that might as well be family. We are grateful for the ability to love, the willingness to forgive and the opportunity to be forgiven. We are forever blessed with an abundance of people who care about us as individuals and who we can return that love to. We feel grateful for all the wonderful teachers in our lives that have taken so many shapes. They have helped us to stand up for ourselves, speak the truth, face our fears, see ourselves more clearly and teach patience, tolerance and forgiveness. We are grateful for the experience of being fathers and mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers. You’ve blessed us with multiple generations where we can honor the newborn and the eldest with equal celebration.
We are grateful for this beautiful Earth and all living plants and creatures that make this a paradise of color and diversity. We’re honored that you allow us the opportunity to travel this planet and soak in the wonder that you have created for us.
We are grateful God for Life- including sound bodies and minds and for opening hearts to compassion, strength, courage, determination, perseverance and joy. The blessings that you have granted by touching us and guiding us with your hand are unending in their proportions- it is love pure and unadulterated.
We are grateful for our purpose- that in the end, you bring us to a path that we are meant to walk. We remain thankful for lining that path with family and friends, for love, divine guidance, shelter, nourishment, health, truth, balance, harmony, grace, mercy, forgiveness, passion and happiness. We are thankful for rising each and every day to see beauty in things that most people take for granted.
Let us just for a moment, Lord, hold this night in our heart. Help us remember the immense love we share for each of us in this room. With each gift that is opened today, let it be an extension of the many ways you gift us each day, especially with your presence in our hearts and the presence of each other in our lives.