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Weekly Words for the Journey

The Second Week of Advent

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,
no predictability.
Our God lives where our God lives,
and destruction has no power
and even death cannot stop
the living.
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 God comes.
Watch, that you might be found
God comes.

(from “Kneeling in Bethlehem” by Ann Weems)

Do you see what I see? Usually at this time of year we know where to look for signs of Christ’s birth…angel banners and Advent candles; the star in the sanctuary and gift tags under the tree; our holiday bazaar and parsonage open house; family gatherings and services at church. But if you are having trouble knowing where to look this year, you are not alone…do we look for the vaccine to arrive or for pandemic numbers to drop; for hospital staff to find relief or for families to find food security; for businesses to survive or for jobs to return; for our nation to finally heal?

Maybe the poem is right. We cannot look for God; God just comes…when we expect it and when we don’t; when we’re ready and when we’re not; when we celebrate and when we can’t. This year let’s watch for both joy and sorrow, help and hurt, light and darkness, love and loss. For no matter where we look or what we see, God is with us. Emmanuel…Pastor Claudine