Many of you know I produce an Advent calendar with a friend and former colleague, the Rev. Merry Watters. It is a collaborative endeavor that I anticipate as Advent approaches Merry selects scripture readings for each day, comes up with a suggested devotion for the day, and I then create the design and write a poem for the calendar.
We have been doing this for over 25 years now, and I do not grow tired of it! While I do like to write a new poem for each calendar, this year, the ongoing refugee and immigration crises led me to use again a poem I first wrote in 2005, when the tsunami in the Pacific at the beginning of the year and then Hurricane Katrina led to so many people being forced on journeys they did not anticipate or want to make.
The Christmas story is bracketed by Mary and Joseph making journeys not of their choosing – first from Nazareth to Bethlehem for the government census, and then the flight to Egypt after Jesus’ birth. They too, were refugees.
There will be plenty of copies of the calendar at church, but if you would like to download it soon and send it out to friends and families, you can do so by going to this website link:
Several friends have written musical settings for the poem, which are also available at the website.
Again, this year, I will be sending out a daily meditation by email based on each day of the calendar. If you would like to receive those meditations, just reply to this newsletter email and type the word “Yes” in your response.
My hope is that the familiar rituals of Advent will again open us to all the new things that God is doing in our midst.