Our God comes and will not be silent
. - Psalm 50:3
Do you have a poet that speaks to you of the Holy?
I received a couple of books by Ann Weems when I was in seminary. I have always appreciated her words and images. Here are a couple focusing on Advent and Christmas.
The Coming of God
by Ann Weems
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 the 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. Watch... for you know not when God comes. Watch, that you might be found whenever wherever God comes.
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 stars not hearing angel voices. We can no longer excuse ourselves by busily tending our sheep or kingdoms. This Advent let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that the Lord has made known to us. In the midst of the 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 the angels' wings. This Advent, let's go to Bethlehem and find our kneeling places.
Weems was a noted writer, speaker, liturgist and worship leader. Among her seven published books or collections of poems, meant to be used in worship, in personal devotions, and in discussions, are Kneeling in Jerusalem, Kneeling in Bethlehem and the best-selling Psalms of Lament. She is also the author of the critically-acclaimed poem, Balloons Belong in Church, about her then four-year old son, Todd, who brought an orange balloon with pink stripes to church school one Sunday morning
For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
- Nelson Mandela
Holy One, you are coming again and we aren't sure how to respond. Help us to discern when to kneel and when to get up on our feet and move. Amen.