And she gave birth to her first-born son and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. -Luke 2:7
No place for them. Such stark words Luke chooses to use to proclaim the birth of Emmanuel; God with us! No place for them.
The mystery of God with us is that God enters into human existence through vulnerability on the outside of warm security. Try as we might we can't squeeze this truth out of advent. We fill our calendars with parties, gift exchanges, and our trees will be crowded beyond belief with presents. Yet the Christ child is birthed to be with us in the space of no place for them.
On Sunday, December 15th at 5:00 p.m. the Stephen Ministries of Johns Creek Presbyterian and United Methodist churches will be hosting Walking to Bethlehem- A Light in the Night Blue Christmas Service.
This special time of worship recognizes the darker places in our lives that include loss, grief, and longing. We need a time to walk to Bethlehem because much of the ways that we celebrate Christmas don't allow for our deeper emotions to be honored and experienced. In other words, there is no place for them in our traditional Christmas celebrations.
Yet we need a place for them, a special time and space for them and according to Luke's gospel this is where we meet our Savior. The service will include prayers, litanies, scripture lessons, and a prayer labyrinth on which you can experience a closer walk with God.
I hope you will make space in your schedule to worship with us as we Walk to Bethlehem together and encounter the one who meets us where we are at; making a place where there appears to be no place for our deepest hurts and challenges. Join us, will you, Sunday, December 15th at 5:00 p.m. in the Great Hall.