This year I had the opportunity to travel to the Holy Land with my family and friends from our church. I knew I would enjoy the trip. I had no idea how much my spirit would be touched. I am still pondering our experiences over and over. This day, Christmas Eve, I cannot stop thinking about Bethlehem. About the silver star on the floor in the deep cellar of the Church of the Nativity, of kneeling down to reach out to touch the star that marks the spot believed to have been the birth site of Jesus. About the wall which belies all our wishes to believe in peace in this land that is home for us all. About singing Christmas carols in the church near the shepherd’s field. About community, about justice, about love.
I wrote this to share with my church for its Advent devotional booklet…it is the writing chosen for this day, December 24:
Waiting For Peace
These final days, the light begins to return.
It seems the whole world is waiting for peace.
We give thanks for darkness beginning to wane, even a tiny bit.
As the year draws to a close, we wait for Christ to arrive,
To come, as each year, in our hearts and in our world.
We wait again for the peace of Jesus.
Christmas almost here, and hearts still break.
We wander deep and dreamless streets.
Waiting for peace is hard work, we try to be patient.
This world, still waiting, as hope moves closer.
This tender love inside our hearts, broken, bruised, healing.
How much longer to wait?
We will know the glory of our desire.
We will dance in the midst of mystery
We are waiting for Jesus, waiting for peace.
Say yes, beloved, only say yes.
Our peace and our Jesus are on the way
And will arrive with our next trusting breath.
Amen. May it be so.