We hold our annual 'Journey to Bethlehem' at St. James in the Red Shed adjacent to the church. It is a re-telling of the wonderful story of the 'Babe of Bethlehem' who comes to us in humble surroundings, always reminding us that God surprises us by turning the ordinary into 'extraordinary'!
The event is complete with sheep and lambs, a donkey (who sometimes steals the show each year!) and numerous chickens and animals of all descriptions - depending on which helpful farmer lends their stock to us that year! 'Journery to Bethlehem kicks off our Advent journey and reminds us of the 'reason for the season'. We have over 120 people gather each evening (the last Friday and Saturday night of November at 8:00 p.m.) and no matter what the weather they are greeted with warm smiles and later are invited to share a cup of hot apple cider!
‘Our gospel’ which is the good news that Jesus came to us to teach,to serve, and to die for us, is not just words but it is the saving power of God at work in the words. You can feel the power of the Holy Spirit as we watch the scene again unfold... that story of the baby, Mary and Joseph, the angels and the wisemen.
I’m reminded that I can give a sermon on Sunday morning to the faithful who gather, but the words I speak are only that – just words – unless they are lived out and put into action. Unless they are lived out and put into action then they are only words. By 'journeying' we live out the message of hope found in the story of the baby in the cradle.
'Journey to Bethlehem' helps us begin our advent experience of 'love put into action'. May you find your celebration of Christmas this year one of action born out of love. God’s love in the form of a child.
Have a blessed Advent journey everyone! See you at the Red Shed!