We turn our eyes to the Rising Light,
Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer,
giving thanks with all our hearts.
Keep us, dear Lord, as the apple of your eye,
and hold us in the hollow of your mercy and grace.
Uphold us in righteousness and peace,
and bring us in unity and charity into your holy courts.
Teach us to serve each other
and witness to your holy truth,
as your servant Steven did, we pray.
Preserve us from all sin and enmity,
both from without and within, O Holy One,
and open our hearts to your Spirit.
Seal us with your blessing, O God,
and remember those whose names we lay before You.
Photo collage by the Rev. Dr. Maria Evans, one of my "littermates," of each of the three of us in our various parishes at our first Christmas as priests. We were ordained together, and even though serving in three different locations, we remain together.