It’s a weary, weary world right now. Maybe you feel it too. It’s a bleak horizon and I can feel the grayness in my soul. A personal weariness, a national weariness, a global weariness. This is a strange subject to write about merely days before Christmas, I agree. But somehow, the joy of Christmas also brings out the weariness of the world.
I was texting someone recently about this, and she replied: “It is a weary world! We took some treat plates around to some neighbors the other day and I realized fully for the first time how elderly our town is. At least 50% of the town is retired, some of them very elderly. Several people invited me/us to stay and chat, several said they love seeing our family walk by…one neighbor stopped back by and dropped off a gift for the kids and said ‘I’m so glad you’re my neighbors!’ And we received three Christmas cards and two thank you cards back in the mail! One of the cards says, ‘nice to see a family together.’ So many lonely folks…I told my husband that our ministry may be to just walk around town as a family and be a little corner of togetherness in people’s lives…the older people seem to really resonate with seeing our family out together.”
“And Mary said, ‘Behold, I am the servant of the LORD; let it be to me according to Your word.'” Luke 1:38
What a response to the announcement she had just heard from the angel. Some say Mary was incredibly honored to be the recipient of this incredible announcement. Others say it would have been shocking and frightening; a major shake-up in Mary’s life. Probably it was both at the same time. Whatever emotions she was feeling, whatever thoughts were racing through her mind, no doubt her world had just been turned completely upside down. And yet, what do we find in her one sentence response?
We parked. The whole family piled out of the van, donned coats and hats, and began to wade through a sea of vehicles. Strains of Jewish music floated over the fence from across the road. Who knew that the local “Bethlehem Village,” hosted by several area churches, drew such a crowd?
With two littles in the double stroller, we moved quickly before they could start deciding they didn’t like being in the stroller after all. A parking attendant called out, “There’s a place to cross the road about half way down.” Continue reading “On the way into Bethlehem”→