Advent — December 9, 2017

God, for reminders from the past —
the jacob marleys we see in door knockers, the therapy we work with,
inventories we make,
journals we re-visit,
childhood names we “friend,”–
and all the healing they bring,
we thank you.

From our honest knowing
of a family’s brokenness,
a community’s illnesses,
a church’s mistakes,
even the past of our culture
filled with racism and violence –
may we learn.

In the holy long, long ago,
remembered in jumbled fashion
of shepherds and magi,
stable or house,
Mary’s angel, Joseph’s dream –

seen in crèche, sung in carol,
written in scripture,
and re-written in poem, story,
film, pageant –

may we find Bethlehem
that opens our hearts to the world.

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