Today’s Word: Beginnings

In begins on the road to Bethlehem. SJG photo.

Just received word from our friends “The Merry Keenans” in England (we lived just west of London for about three years in the mid-1990s) that a
Christmas reading I wrote a number of years ago is going to be performed as part of this year’s carol service at our old parish, St. Joseph’s in Gerrards
Cross, Buckinghamshire, this coming Sunday. The choirs will be conducted by Mary Keenan “herself,” and I’m told there will be mulled wine and minced pies in the parish centre following the festivities. Truly, truly wish we could be there. If by chance you live in that beautiful part of the world (in the Chilterns), please drop by and clap loudly. Tell them the colonists sent you.

Here’s the reading…

The Journey Begins

The journey begins, not at Nazareth as Joseph and Mary prepare for their trip to the City of David, but at a time much earlier.

It begins with darkness…and God…and the Word.

It begins at creation, when God called forth light, life and those made in His own image.

It begins with a man and a woman, banished from the garden and crying out for a new
source of life and salvation.

It begins with a son, standing over the slain body of his brother and listening to the sound of blood crying out from the ground.

It begins with a great flood and the promise of a rainbow.

It begins on a mountain top, with a father’s hand ready to sacrifice his son.

It begins with a child, drawn like water from the river by a Pharaoh’s daughter.

It begins with a bush. SJG photo

It begins with a bush, burning but not consumed, on a small parcel of holy ground.

It begins with plagues and the deaths of first-born children, with years of wandering in the desert, with manna from heaven and water flowing from rocks, with towers of flame and parted seas, with covenants and commandments and temples and sacred meals.

It begins with songs of praise, psalms of thanksgiving, and words of wisdom for those wise enough to listen.

It begins with the words of prophets, warning of coming destruction and telling of the coming of a Messiah.

It begins with a voice in the wilderness crying, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord.”

It begins with the stirrings of life inside a chosen woman.

It begins on the road to Bethlehem…

Ask yourself in silence: Where did my journey begin? When did God enter it?

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