Dear Church family,
It is almost here! I wish you all the joy of Christ over these next few days. Please know you are welcome at our Christmas Eve service which begins at 5pm and at our Christmas morning service that begins at 10am. Both are in the sanctuary. Until then, here are two more poems from Ann Weems’ book Kneeling in Bethlehem. It is my prayer that reading them allows you to take a moment, breathe, pray, and remember the purpose of both this season and the purpose of your life with God.


If there is no cross in the manger,
there is no Christmas.
If the Babe doesn’t become the Adult,
there is no Bethlehem star.
If there is no commitment in us,
there are no Wise Men searching.
If we offer no cup of cold water,
there is no gold, no frankincense, no myrrh.
If there is no praising God’s name,
there are no angels singing.
If there is no spirit of alleluia,
there are no shepherds watching.
If there is no standing up, no speaking out, no risk,
there is no Herod, no flight into Egypt.
If there is no room in our inn,
then “Merry Christmas” mocks the Christ Child,
and the Holy Family is just a holiday card,
and God will loathe our feasts and festivals.

For if there is no reconciliation,
we cannot call Christ “Prince of Peace.”
If there is no goodwill toward others,
it can all be packed away in boxes for another year.
If there is no forgiveness in us,
there is no cause for celebration.
If we cannot go now even unto Golgotha,
there is no Christmas in us.
If Christmas is not now,
if Christ is not born into the everyday present,
then what is all the noise about?


Christmas comes every time we see God in other persons.
The human and the holy meet in Bethlehem
or in Times Square,
for Christmas comes like a golden storm on its way
to Jerusalem—
determinedly, inevitably. . .
Even now it comes
in the face of hatred and warring—
no atrocity too terrible to stop it,
no Herod strong enough,
no hurt deep enough,
no curse shocking enough,
no disaster shattering enough.
For someone on earth will see the star,
someone will hear the angel voices,
someone will run to Bethlehem,
someone will know peace and goodwill:
the Christ will be born!

Merry Christmas to you all,

kneeling in bethleham 1