Dear Church Family and Friends,
Advent is here! It's a time of preparation. A time to get ready for the coming of a baby...a king. So we are getting ready.
As part of my personal preparation, I've been reading a book of poems called "Kneeling in Bethlehem" by Ann Weems and I want to share one.
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.
I'm inspired anew to be intentional about my preparation. It's easy to get caught up in family logistics or dysfunction...stress over finances...get overwhelmed by the extra Christmas things that are getting added to an already full to-do list. But I don't want to give in to what is easy. I want to be Bethlehem-bound. I want to get caught up in the "Gifts of Gifts."
Join me! Let's reclaim the sacredness of the season. Maybe you can do that by creating traditions of alternative Christmas gifts, that both honor your loved ones and the birthday boy himself, Jesus. Maybe you can do that by being extra intentional about spending devotional time with God. Maybe you can do it in another way.
Whatever you choose, invite God in. Make room in "your inn." I'm looking forward to a powerful Christmas. I'm thankful to be sharing the journey with you!
Rev. Dana Coker with her husband, Harold, and sons, Noah and Adan