December 21 — prayer from “Silver Bells”

 

 

December 21, 2018
… Strings of street lights, even stoplights, blinkin’ bright red and green … and above all the bustle we hear …“Silver Bells” Jay Livingston

God of the right-here-in-front-of-me
Christmas –
the child I love trying to wrap (and hide)
a craft come home from school,
the sidewalk Santa bell-ringer in the rain
with the big smile,
the last minute shoppers
who are always the most fun,

and most of all people
who even see red and green stoplights
as a symbol of holiness come down,
and don’t need to wait
for little candles on Christmas Eve.

Bless them all –
those who rush home with treasures
excited to bring happiness,
and those who do not have homes
and trust others
for the simplest gifts,

and those who carry silver bells inside
to ring for us all year long.
amen

(A first year student at Union Theological Seminary I was teaching a fifth grade class in a Manhattan Presbyterian Church and we needed to participate in the all church Advent event. I hoped they would stage a pageant but they pushed back with their own idea – to act out “Silver Bells” because it seemed like “people just think Christmas only comes in the country – but we have Christmas, too, right here.” And their skit was wonderful.)

“Several periodicals and interviews cite the writer Jay Livingston stating that the song’s inspiration came from the bells used by sidewalk Santa Clauses and Salvation Army solicitors on New York City street corners.” (Wikipedia)

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2 Responses to December 21 — prayer from “Silver Bells”

  1. John Pannell says:

    I usually read these posts in the emails, but I have to thank you for these really beautiful, insightful poems, Maren, which are one of the lights that illumine the dark mornings of winter.

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