Our new baby nephew was born in Kentucky very early this morning. I’m reminded of how much waiting for Christmas–if you do it right–is like the experience of waiting for a real and actual baby. Much anticipation, a little discomfort (more than a little if you are the mother!) and such good news of great joy upon arrival. When the gift of new life comes to any family, it affirms our hope of a future, and the certainty of God’s presence and faithfulness in all things.
I’m sharing an Advent hymn that i wrote a few years ago, inspired by the Worship and Wonder version of the Christmas story. For all y’all pastors and church musicians out there who try to walk the line and compromise between the ‘we want Christmas now’ set and the ‘liturgical police’ crowd, this is the best of both words. It’s a familiar Christmas tune (Greensleeves) with Advent-appropriate lyrics. Enjoy, and feel free to share and use; just give me credit for the lyrics, and if you feel so led, you can make a little gift to the Week of Compassion.
The Way to Bethlehem
Show us the way to Bethlehem, O Prophet you have spoken.
You listened in the darkest night, God’s silence now is broken.
Teach, teach us how to wait, for secrets in God’s keeping.
Lead, lead us to the place where God, the child, lies sleeping.
Show us the way to Bethlehem, God’s chosen mother, Mary.
We wait with you in joy to see the miracle you carry.
Show us the way to Bethlehem, you Shepherds in your wonder.
Your star, a sign that peace will come, and evil lie asunder.
Show us the way to Bethlehem, all you who know this story.
The wilderness behind us now, we see God’s waking glory.
©Erin Wathen, 2005