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Redwood Journal

Writings by Harry Martin

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Christmas

A Christmas Prayer

A Christmas Prayer

Joseph, thank you for caring Mary and her Son.
May I follow your example of love, courage and faith.
Joseph, pray for us.

Mary, Blessed Mother, thank you for bringing Jesus to us.
May I follow your steps of yes to the Word and Will of the Father.
Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us.

Holy Jesus, Eternal Son of God the Father,
seeing you in the manger I pray.

Touching your infant’s feet, to be pierced by the nail, I pray,
guide me in your pathway,
out of sin, to your holy, healing embrace.

Taking your tiny hands,
soon to work the carpenters tools,
but, more, that will heal , and also
will know the nails piercing,
take my hands,
make them yours
for your work.

My finger touches your tiny rosebud lips,
from which will soon be heard,
Living words of life, eternal, rich.
Help me listen in humble silence,
and share in gentle boldness.

And, now, as Your Mother places you in my arms,
I feel your tiny heart beating, so close to mine.
To grow in strength and holy love to send our fears fleeing.

Sweetheart of Jesus,
be my love.

Immanuel

Here is the cyberversion of my homily for the Fourth Sunday of Advent:
{Readings for Mass: II Sam. 7:1-5, 8B-12, 14a-16; Ps. 89:2-3,4-5,27,29; Rom. 16:25-27; Lu.1:26-38}

This season of Advent draws to a close. May it also draw us closer to Immanuel, God with us. This has been a year of profound stress and loss for many people. The commercially traditional experiences of Christmas are probably much subdued.
It is, however an opportunity to realize and experience the security, the love and mercy of God. Found in the Christ-child may we allow the infinite, yet simple love of God befriend and bless as we share..Immanuel, God with us.

David, shepherd and faithful king,
would in his cedar palace sing,
Praise, prayers
to his God
he would bring.

A life of struggle and of fear,
wilderness days,
watered with his tears.
Later years
as reigning king,
would he know
sin’s cruel sting.

Yet through the years, David, king,
Praise and prayers
to God would bring.
In cedar palace David dwelt.
But in God’s tent
David knelt.
David longed,
planned to build,
for God,
his friend,
a temple true.

David’s plans,
exchanged by God.
Who’s eternal love foresaw
and in prophets words did speak,
of the coming King of Kings,
of the holy Prince of Peace.

Immanuel, God comes
with us to dwell.
Immanuel God comes
fear and doubt to quell.
Immanuel,
come, God.
With us befriend.
Immanuel,
come God,
our love for you ascends.

Mary troubled with angelic words.
Pondered what within her stirred.
What was said,
fears voices told,
was impossible
and left her cold.

Angel’s eyes,
Mary’s soul did see.
And with God’s love
fears cold words
made flee.
‘Be not afraid,
your fears to face.
Be not afraid,
with love
courage take.

Mary to Elizabeth went.
in her womb
God’s Son was sent.
David’s promise
within her dwelt.
And in Elizabeth womb,
her infant felt.

God has come, Immanuel.
God has favored,
With us to dwell.
Mary among women,
you are favored.
You bring to us
our long sought Savior.

Immanuel, God comes
with us to dwell.
Immanuel God comes
fear and doubt to quell.
Immanuel,
come, God.
With us befriend.
Immanuel,
come God,
our love for you ascends.

Ages flow and so today,
Skeptics smirk and boldly say:
‘Where is God, this Immanuel?
Why this foolish homage pay?
Why this faith just look around?
Greed and hate,
fears abound.
A war on terror,
fueled by oil’s
crude creed.
Economic woes,
jobs and homes
do bleed.
Securities lost.
Insecurities abound.
Even while
in politics words
for hope,
for change,
many scrounge.

Immanuel you sing?
God with us you believe?
Yet how amidst this strife,
can God’s love
or hope be seen?

Immanuel, God comes
with us to dwell.
Immanuel God comes
fear and doubt to quell.
Immanuel,
come, God.
With us befriend.
Immanuel,
come God,
our love for you ascends.

Immanuel God is with us.
David’s promised King does reign.
Immanuel God is with us.
When Christ’s love
within our soul does reign.

Mary’s choice to believe
from all fear did her free.
Mary’s yes to God,
to our wounded world
does bring
holy friendship with
Christ the Savior
Loving friendship
with Christ the King.

Immanuel ,
God,
be with us.
Prince of Peace,
do come.
In the stable of our needs,
be incarnate,
God’s holy Son.

As with Elizabeth,
welcoming your mother.
As with the needy,
who is our brother.
May we see.
May we care.
May we share
Immanuel.

With deeds
with words,
we dare to face
this world’s
fear and doubt,
greed and hate.

With truth in love,
God’s hope and peace,
with Heaven’s joy,
as angels speak,
Immanuel.

Immanuel,
we ask,

Be with soldiers
in desert tasks.
With courage kind
may they find
Your love to heal
their scars in time.

Be with the homeless,
on the streets,
may they find
Your joy and hope.
In warmth and peace
in places where you keep.

The sick, the lonely,
aged, frail,
Immanuel , God,
with them dwell.
By our words,
with our deeds,
May all these souls
Your love to speed.

Immanuel, God comes
with us to dwell.
Immanuel God comes
fear and doubt to quell.
Immanuel,
come, God.
With us befriend.
Immanuel,
come God,
our love for you ascends.

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