In Bethlehem, we were given a blank postcard and asked to answer this question: “Why was Jesus born for me?” This was not the only postcard assignment we received during this pilgrimage and they are ‘take home’ assignments — no rush to answer now — think for awhile — talk it through with others. But, it must be done and turned in before we depart Israel — at least if you want it mailed to you for Christmas. After a day at the Shepherd’s Field and an evening talking with friends, I went to my room and put these words on the postcard to me. I wanted it to be God’s message to me — what was God asking of me now — “Trust Me More”. It arrived the other day.I didn’t know what was going on at home with my father — he was in the hospital with pneumonia when I wrote this. I didn’t know he would return to the hospital soon after my return. It is so easy to feel alone when family looks to you to make things right again — to restore peace and hope. It is so easy to feel alone but we are not. I wonder about Mary and Joseph — the trials they faced leading up to the birth of God’s Son — Jesus. Was it easy to feel alone while fleeing for safety — no room in an inn — a shepherd’s cave — a manger? It is so easy to feel alone and yet we should not — we are told often to ‘fear not.’ The Angel appeared to the Shepherds in the field and said
“Be not afraid for behold I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!” When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing which has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went in haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. ~ Luke 2:10-15 RSV-CE
We are coming upon the last Sunday of Advent — our waiting, our watching for the Star of Bethlehem is drawing to a close. When Jesus comes to you, does he find room in the Inn of your heart? The Good News is upon us. Make haste to Bethlehem! I close my eyes and I am there again.