Dear friends,

As I’ve been preparing for our worship services in Advent, I’ve come across a book of Poems by Ann Weems, a Presbyterian Elder, lecturer and popular poet, titled “Kneeling in Bethlehem.”  I found quite a few of her poems meaningful.  It’s quite possible her poems will make appearances in our worship services or my sermons this Advent Season.  I want to share with you in this e-pondering one of them.  Its title is: “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 experience our own advent in his.

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.[1]

 

Her invitation is my invitation to you this Advent and Christmas season.  Let’s go to Bethlehem and let us find our kneeling places.  Let us find our kneeling places as we fulfill Jesus’ wish list on his birthday.  Let us find our kneeling places as we encounter God’s scandalous love.  Let us find our kneeling places as we encounter God’s message of hope in the messiness of the very first Christmas and in our lives today.  Let us find our kneeling places as we experience the miracle of God coming to earth in the humble form of a baby born to two ordinary parents like you and me.  Then, having found our kneeling places this Advent and Christmas season, let us commit to traveling by a different road in 2016. 

This is your invitation to worship this Advent and Christmas Seasons.  I look forward to finding our kneeling places together as we prepare to and celebrate the birth of Jesus, God with us.

Pastor Dave

 

[1] Weems, Ann, “In Search of Our Kneeling Places,” found in Kneeling in Bethlehem, Westminster Press; Philadelphia, PA 1987. Page 19.