Kneeling in Bethlehem
by Ann Weems
It is not over,
There are always newer skies
into which God can throw stars.
When we begin to think
that we can predict the Advent of God,
that we can box the Christ,
in a stable in Bethlehem,
that's just the time that God will be born
in a place we can't imagine and won't believe.
Those who wait for God
watch with their hearts and not with their eyes,
for angel words.
This has long been my favorite Advent poem. I love the way it challenges us to imagine the possibility that the miracle of Christmas was not merely a one-time event in history, but evidence of God's ongoing, persistent, tireless, devoted and dogged determination to be known, to be felt, and to be present in our lives. If only we will listen.
This year, as I read this poem anew I was struck by the first lines and how much of motherhood is an endless process of birthing. That newborn whom we labored to bring into the world bears almost no resemblance to the toddler we must teach to walk and talk; nor he to the grade-school boy who must be taught self-control and compassion; and then we turn around and we are staring into the chest of a man-child, a head taller than ourselves, who is poised to take his first steps out into the world alone, possessing little more than youthful self-confidence and optimism- but anxious to leave nonetheless.
It is not over...this birthing.
And right now I am praying with all my might that there are newer skies ahead- skies that are star-filled and exploding with wonder and hope.
And for all of us.
Blessings to all this First Sunday of Advent.