Minister’s Message from Jon, December 2018
Ah, friends, dear friends, as years go on and heads grow grey,
how fast the friends do go.
Touch hands, touch hands, with those that stay.
Strong hands to weak, old hands to young,
around the Christmas board, touch hands.
The false forget, the foe forgive, for every guest will go and
every fire burn low and every cabin empty stand.
Forget, forgive, for who may say that
Christmas Day may ever come to host or guest again.
Touch hands! Touch hands!
Rev. William Henry Harrison Murray
We have used this blessing to close our Christmas Eve Candlelight Services at UUC for many decades now. The words were written by the Rev. William Henry Harrison Murray, an American clergyman and promoter of the health and spiritual benefits of intimacy with wilderness. The words can be found in his book, Christmas in the Adirondacks (1898). His nickname, not surprisingly, was “Adirondack Murray.”
I appreciate the reminder that our lives are temporary and we cannot predict from one year to the next who will remain at the holiday table. So, “forget and forgive and be grateful” that we are once again able to touch each other with kindness and appreciation. Happy Holidays!