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.
Dear Heavenly Father,
As we gather here today with immediate family, extended relatives, friends and neighbors, let us remember why we come together to spend this day. As I look at their faces and remember their stories- our stories- feelings of gratitude wash over us for the blessings too many to count. Sure, there have been challenges. Our journey is fraught with fear and anxiety. But just as you have provided a canopy of love and forgiveness over this life, a compass of faith that shows us the path, you have surrounded us with these loved ones that have acted like guiding posts on our travels. In the times that we have been oblivious to this support network you have provided, please forgive. For the times we have not accepted this unending love, please reprieve. As you’ve provided this incredible event and brought all of those together that have provided a generational compass to show us the way to what true love means, let us give the highest form of thanks we know how.
Lord, this is our prayer on this Christmas dinner. May this be a reminder for us to live a life of gratefulness and appreciation in our day to day. And like the growing Christ child we read about in the good book, let us grow in wisdom daily, seeking to know you and the path you’ve chosen for us in mind and spirit. Let us meet those challenges that are put in front of us without cowardice- facing them with a bold and humble strength. Each member in this room is the net to catch us and rescue us if we should fail. Let us remember that the true value of the individual is the notion of sacrifice. Like you did for us, let us make it our duty to provide for others to the best of our ability and to leave this world a better place at the end of the day than at the beginning. And let us live these words not just in this time around your birth, what we call Christmas, but let these life missives direct us year-round.
This Christmas season brings us happiness as we are with our family. Too will this Christmas evening when we crawl into our various warm beds with grateful thoughts of you. Please help us remember the birth of your son Jesus Christ and that we may share with the songs of your heavenly Angels, the worship of your son the messiah on this glorious day. Thank you, Lord, for providing for us so generously in our life and for opening the door for your love for us and everyone around us.