For outlandish creatures like us, on our way to a heart, a brain, and courage, Bethlehem is not the end of our journey but only the beginning - not home but the place through which we must pass if ever we are to reach home at last.
― Frederick Buechner* [1926- ], The Magnificent Defeat
O Little Town of Bethlehem, we sing of you and think of you in the long ago time, as we begin again to anticipate the birth of Jesus, the Messiah coming to save us all. We tell the Manger story to the little ones whose eyes are bright with excitement at the twinkling lights and shiny decorations and there is a great rush getting everything ready, or even just ourselves, for the perfect celebration ~ a feast of food, family, friends, and especially, gifts. It is the happiest of times for some and the most difficult of times for others.
Divine and Loving Creator,
Through You, our redemption is complete but not yet finished, as I must do the work You have given me to do. Let me take a moment each day to stop and rest my heart and thoughts in You, to savor the ritual of holy waiting. I will step off the noisy highway, if only briefly, and allow myself to be enveloped in the quiet reassurance of Your presence. In each breath I will fully experience the gift of life You have given me at my own birth. It is in this time that I remember to whom my life truly belongs, and feel deeply that each brick I walk on the road to Bethlehem, leads me closer to the One who will, if I let Him, truly guide me from there to Home. amen.
*Carl Frederick Buechner is an American theologian, Presbyterian pastor, and author of more than 30 books in several genres such as fiction, autobiography, and sermons, and is well-known among readers of Christian meditation. He has received the O. Henry Award and been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award among many other honors.
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