“Away in a Manger”
United Methodist Hymnal – #217
. . . I ask you to stay close by me forever,
and love me, I pray;
Good byes can be difficult. Of course, there’s always a house guest that has overstayed their welcome, but for the most part, it’s hard to say “good bye”. Could it be that it’s about maintaining the status quo? We get comfortable with things the way they are. Certainly our modern lives, and our tendency to keep way too many balls in the air, contribute to the feeling of personal chaos. Remember the guy that would spin all those plates on really long sticks. As he got more and more of them going, he would have to go back to keep the first ones spinning (young people – this was “entertainment” back in the day.) So we pray for the baby Jesus to stay close. Maybe its about acceptance . . . being loved and cared for. Those among us with big families have it easy. Even when conflicts arise, you still know that someone “has your back”. I recently attended a memorial service for a woman, 95 years old with 138 children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. A blessing for sure. But for others like me, with a small – extremely small – family, we need to look elsewhere, developing our own families, if you will, from our friends and colleagues. I am so very grateful for my Dayspring family, and my choir families. They have been there to support and care for me and my loved ones. But that is what church should be all about. Those who are searching for a loving community should be able to find it at 1365 E. Elliot Road. Don’t you agree?
I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord!”
For the sake of my friends, I will say, “Peace be within you.”
PSALM 122: 1, 8
God of love, we talk of open heart, open minds, and open doors. But do we really live it? We pray that you would imbue us with your radical hospitality. Help us to open our hearts, minds, and then our doors. To all those feeling unloved or disenfranchised, may we be a beacon of love and hope, embracing all who come to us for community, belonging and grace. Amen.