Dear Church family,
Merry Christmas to each of you. I pray it has been meaningful and full of love. Below is a poem that combines the celebration of Christmas with the call Jesus gives to a particular life. As we plan for a new year, there is no better time to remember who and what we strive to be when we follow the Christ Child. The poem is by Presbyterian poet Ann Weems and can be found in her book Kneeling in Bethlehem.

The Cross In the Manger
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 towards 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 even now 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?

May Christ’s peace be with you today and in the new year,