The old woman’s eyes gaze back and forth

at her gnarled hands

and the gnarled branches revealed

on the ancient tree

comparing the two.


Now that the leaves have dropped

And the birds’ nests exposed

Twists and turns are clearly viewed.


Both hands and the tree branches

Have suffered and yet

loveliness has formed

in the hearts that reveal

divine one-ing.


Reflecting upon a

specific Christmas Eve

when the flame was passed one by one.


The whole sanctuary shimmered and

she could see the

Glories Streaming, yet

was not terrified.


Mesmerized by the sight!

Small angelic beings

 and loved ones faces transformed!


Not one space was left, in the rafters

above, or in

her heart.  She knew then that

the Christmas Eve holy

immersion recurs


Every year as candles

are lifted and we sing

in blessed harmony

It was some time before I could even speak of seeing the presence of the heavenly beings that one Christmas Eve. Perhaps my eyes were opened because for too long I’d doubted the faith of my ancestors and was even angry at God. I didn’t know how else to process the death of Justin, my eleven-year-old nephew. Even now, we can’t help but wonder how his sister, brother, and mother’s lives would have been different if he’d survived that day.

Yet at this particular Christmas Eve worship, when I truly saw the glories stream from the heavens above, the presence of Christ brought peace beyond understanding, a sense of safety, and a heart filled with love.

For those of you who grieve for loved ones, know that they are not lost. They are transformed and truly are the light! Your love for one another is eternal as Christ’s love streams from the heavenly to the earthly realm.

And now, wherever you may be, receiving the anointing of healing as you place a small amount of oil upon your forehead.

May the Holy spirit anoint you with healing of body, mind, and spirit.

May you receive the peace of Jesus Christ

And know without a doubt that you are a

Beloved, cherished, child of God.

In the name of the Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. Amen.


Receive this prayer and know that you are never alone. The divine spirit resides within and we are united one to the other.

In the peace and love of the Messiah,

Rev. Marta Wheeler