Pastor Cathy Daharsh

The second week of Advent we focus on the Star of Hope. Rev. Dr. Mitri Raheb says, "Hope doesn't wait for vision to appear. Hope is vision in action today. "

Come join us today, Wed. Dec. 12 at 7 pm, as we talk about hope during our Midweek Advent Service. We will take another offering for the Bright Stars of Bethlehem ministries.  Following service there will be a snack buffet. This peaceful service is a time to pray together in the hope of Jesus Christ in our lives and this world. Take time to invite a friend to share this evening with us. 

From The Bright Star of Bethlehem Devotion - Star of Hope

Too Little to Matter? 

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathat, who are too little to be amount the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. - Micah 5.2

My journey to Bethlehem started by plane from St. Louis to Chicago to Amsterdam to Tel Aviv, then continued on a late-night bus into the Holy City, Jerusalem, which was shining and teeming with life and light, music and laughter. Suddenly, as we turned south to Bethlehem, light and sound dissipated. The road narrowed, obstructed by a 35-foot-high concrete barrier, with it barbed wire, gun turrets, massive steal gate and ominous weaponry. We tried to pass through. 

"Passports!" Israeli soldiers demanded. "Why are you here?" they questioned.

"I'm on a pilgrimage; I just wanted to see where Jesus was born," I responded, somewhere between sheepishness and defiance. "I'm an American."

"Americans. Always meddling" was the curt response. 

Yet the crossing point opened, the massive gate parted and in I went, now fully intimidated. We  saw graffiti and refugee camps and poverty, anger, frustration and despair. Deeper and deeper we went into the heart of the ancient, too-little-to-matter-then-or-now-town. Finally, I found the right side street and a door. We knocked. A baby's sweet cry pierced the night. I saw a dim lantern. A gate opened, and heavily accented Arab-English voice declared:

"Welcome to Christmas Lutheran Church. Welcome to the House of Bread, David's City. Welcome to Jesus' hometown."

I then had hope that all would be all right. 

Prayer

Jesus, Star of Hope, give us hope, even when we are struggling to find our way on life's journey, that your door is always to us. Amen.  - John D. Echrich