Dear Church family,
During this first week of Advent I have been thinking a great deal about the wonderful book of poems Ann Weems wrote about Advent and Christmas. The book is called Kneeling in Bethlehem. Each devotional for the month of December will include a taste of her writing. Poetry can be a great gift for us during this time because poetry forces us to slow down, to read aloud, to pause for breath. I hope these two brief poems can be a moment of calm for you today, a time to slow down and remember the meaning and purpose of Christmas.
THE COMING OF GOD
Our God is the One who comes to us
in a burning bush,
in an angel’s song,
in a newborn child.
Our God is the One who cannot be found
locked in the church,
not even in the sanctuary.
Our God will be where God will be
with no constraints,
Our God lives where our God lives,
and destruction has no power
and even death cannot stop
Our God will be born where God will be born,
But there is no place to look for the One who comes to us.
When God is ready
God will come
even to a godforsaken place
like a stable in Bethlehem.
for you know not when
Watch, that you might be found
IN SEARCH OF OUR KNEELING PLACES
In each heart lies a Bethlehem,
an inn where we must ultimately answer
whether there is room or not.
When we are Bethlehem-bound
we can no longer look the other way
conveniently not seeing stars
not hearing angel voices.
We can no longer excuse ourselves by busily
tending our sheep or our kingdoms.
This Advent let’s go to Bethlehem
and see this thing that the Lord has made known to us.
In the midst of shopping sprees
let’s ponder in our hearts the Gift of Gifts.
Through the tinsel
let’s look for the gold of the Christmas Star.
In the excitement and confusion, in the merry chaos,
let’s listen for the brush of angels’ wings.
This Advent, let’s go to Bethlehem
and find our kneeling places.
May Christ’s peace be with you all,