Pastor Cathy Daharsh
This third week of Advent we have been focusing on the Star of Unity. We are united in the anticipation and remembrance of the birth of Jesus that brings hope, joy, and love.
Today, Wed. Dec. 19 at 7 pm, we welcome and invite you to join us at our Longest Night Service. This worship service is a time that we come together as a community acknowledging the blue feelings at this time of year. For some, this season is a "long dark night of the soul," in which memories of the past and the pain of the present can be overwhelming. We will pray and sing together recognizing that this is not a season of joy for everyone. We pray that you will find hope and comfort knowing you are not alone. We all wait in hope of the Lord's coming.
Star of Unity
Wednesday, Third Week of Advent
The Bright Star of Bethlehem Devotion
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. - John 1:5
At midnight on a wintry night, thirteen travelers boarded a bus at the Guesthouse of the International Center of Bethlehem, bound for Tel Aviv airport to return home to the United States. As the bus made its way through the dark and quiet streets, the travelers quietly sang "O Little Town of Bethlehem." The bus slowed to a halt, and the travelers looked out to see a solid metal wall, three stories high, across the road. The driver honked and they waited. To the left, atop the wall, was a lookout tower. The driver honked again and still they waited. Their "hopes and fears were present. The metal wall made a grinding sound as it slowly moved to create a narrow passageway. the driver drove forward, spoke to the armed guard, and the bus was permitted to pass. Our passage was made possible by the connections made between people.
Within this three-story-high wall still more unifying work is being done. The International Center of Bethlehem is achieving the work of Christ, through education, sports, services to young families, services to the elderly, wellness services and cultural offerings that the lives of 60,000 people in the Bethlehem region. With something as simple as a honk or a friendly wave, you can be the agent of Christian unity in your communities as well.
Jesus, Star of Unity, unite us in our commitment to serve the needs of those in our neighborhoods. Amen.