Friday, November 25 2022
>>>CLICK HERE FOR FULL EMAIL VERSION
“In Search of our Kneeling Places.” by Ann Weems
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 experience our own advent in his.
When we are Bethlehem-bound
We can no longer look the other way
Conveniently not seeing the 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,
This Advent, let’s go to Bethlehem
And find our kneeling places.
In the Advent season, we wait in joyous expectation for the birth of Christ. We shift our attention from worrying about the problems that face us to a crude manger in Bethlehem, where all of God’s promises are fulfilled. We shift from thinking about scarcity to the abundance that we have from God. Please take time to relax in this busy season and journey with all of us at St. John’s to Bethlehem.
Some see the Coming of God as a time of trial when folks were swept away by the waters of the flood or when they will be left behind on the field. I see the coming of Jesus as an achievement of perfect love. My expectation for all of you is that you will feel a love so deep you could scarcely even imagine it. Perhaps until then, you will turn from the notion of penalty and punishment to the hope of everlasting love with our Lord. “How very little can be done under the spirit of fear” Florence Nightingale once said. It is for this reason that we have changed our color from purple to blue. Purple is the color of a penitential season when we try to stop sinning. It is a very masculine perspective that the threat of punishment will get us to behave. Blue is the color of hope. We turn (despite the darkness) to the eternal love of God. In this season of hope we will look to feminine perspectives of motivation through and towards love. Advent is a time when we love each other as Christ loves us. It is a time when we remember those who we love by giving them our kindness and attention. Please take the time to visit with your family, co-workers, and friends. Advent is a time when we give of ourselves to others as Christ gave of himself to us. We bring about the coming of the kingdom of God by looking beyond ourselves. We pray for one another and help the poor and needy where we can. I ask each member of St. John’s to draw closer to the love of God in the coming year.
In Christ’s love,