Sermon: The Longest Night

prison-bars-with-candle(EDITOR’S NOTE: What follows is a sermon for December 21st, the longest night of the year. On this night many churches have a “Longest Night” service for those who are struggling to find joy this Christmas, often due to grief. This sermon was shared at St. David’s Episcopal Church, Richmond Virginia, in 2017.)

“The Longest Night”

A Sermon by Matthew B. Harper

The longest night of the year. A time when darkness comes early and stays late, when night feels unexpected and interminable. Tonight we gather to acknowledge that darkness, and to dwell in it quietly; we know it exists, and it’s okay that it does. “Merry Christmas” may not feel all that ‘Merry,’ but it is Christmas and we know the light of dawn is just over the horizon.
Continue reading

Advertisements

Christmas in Prison 8

“From Magic to Miracle”

by Marcos R

 

Silent night… Holy night… All is calm… All is bright is crooning out of my old school General Electric Superadio II (1970’s model boom box) while bright flashing images of holiday commercials, Christmas movies and Charlie Brown specials splash across the bed sheets and bland narrow cell walls through my 2008 model RCA digital bubble TV screen. I channel surf while sitting on my top bunk, lost in my thoughts, missing my sons… Continue reading

Poem: “Prison Yuletide”

by Taj Alexander Mahon-Haft

“Prison Yuletide”

Warden humbugged the doors up tight
Hot chocolate, hugs, and mistletoe stay out!
No cheer or candy canes breathe here.
No winter, festive, or wonderland fit between the bars.
No colors, twinkles, scents sneak beneath the fence,
even gifts exchanged violate basic rules.
Trees, angels, stars, it matters not,
season’s spirits and symbols need not apply,
But one subdued, shackled service can we see.
Yuletide trimmings, holiday tidings
must be checked at the door.
If Stalin and the Grinch procreated,
that’d be the Christmas mascot here.
Claiming “security,” they scrooge us every year. Continue reading

Christmas in Prison 7

by Jessica McGee

This year I have decided to spend my Christmas with Christ. That is the beginning of what Christmas means to me. See, a little baby was born to die for my sins, so why should I walk around moping because I am not home with my family? God is with me wherever I am, so He is with me right here in prison. He wants me to share the Word with others and that’s what I have been doing. I have given so many presents to others in the Name Of Jesus and just spreading Christmas cheer, I haven’t noticed that Christmas is here already. God has given me so much joy this season, and it’s all because I focused on the Christ in “Christ-mas.” Thank you Lord for all you do and if you don’t do nothing else I’m still grateful. I hope that I have the right attitude, because your attitude directs your actions and your actions show your beliefs and your beliefs reflect your circumstances. I want everything to reflect the one I serve, and that’s Christ Jesus. Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

Lectionary: Christmas Eve/Day December 24/25

by Hugh Brown

“The Announcement”
Luke 2:(1-7),8-20

“He’s here!”, announced the angel of the Lord. This great proclamation made to a unique and unsuspecting audience. Shepherds. The true embodiment of the Savior of the world.

David, a shepherd before he was king, wrote in Psalm 23,

“The Lord is my shepherd…”  Continue reading