“B Is for Bethlehem”

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If you have an Advent calendar, today you can open window number 13! What’s behind it? A toy? A piece of candy? Or maybe a character from the Christmas story? Christmas is just twelve days away!

We are all on our way to Bethlehem! I want to share with you an ABC map of how to get there. A book by Isabel Wilmer: “B Is for Bethlehem.” Let me read it to you!

A’s for Augustus, emperor of Rome, who decreed, ‘To be counted, let each man go home.'”

B is for Bethlehem where Joseph must go. There he takes Mary a long way and slow.

C is Crowds growing larger each day with more people, more animals filling the way.

D is for Donkey, plodding uphill and down to carry young Mary to Bethlehem town.

E is for Evening, when darkness fills shallow valleys and covers low hills.

F is for Flocks — the guarded sheep huddled together fast asleep.

G is for Glory, so splendid, so near. It shines round the shepherds and fills them with fear.

H is for Heavenly Host, who sing ‘Hosanna! Hosanna! Born is the King.'”

I is for Inn where the innkeeper said there was not any. room, not even a bed.

J is for Jesus, Immanuel holy cradled in straw in a stable so lowly.

K is for King who was promised of old. Israel’s ruler, by prophets foretold.

L is for Lullaby Mary would sing to her baby, her lamb, the Messiah, the King.

M is for Manger. There Jesus lay when awed shepherds found him asleep in the hay.

N is for Night, so quiet, so still. Peace in the stable. Peace on the hill.

O is for Oxen that stand near the manger guarding and watching the new baby stranger.

P is for Presents three kings place before him with praise and with love as they kneel to adore him.

Q is for Quest that brought them so far over desert and mountain, led by a star.

R is for Radiance, God’s glorious light. It brightens the stable. It lightens the night.

S is for Stable and Star, and for Story of animals, angels, manger, and glory.

T is the Tidings the big bells chime, over and over time after time.

U is for Us. On that Christmas morn unto us all a child was born.

V is for Venite, the summons, O come. Come praise him with harp and with trumpet and drum.

W‘s for Worship. O come and adore. In starlight, in candlelight, glad carols soar.

X is for EXcelsis, the song angels sing. “Gloria in excelcis!” their clear voices ring.”

Y is for You, for all, everywhere, who send those words ringing again through the air.

Z is for Zealand and Zurlich and Zanzibar. You’ll be lighting the candles wherever you are.

P.S. Here is how to get a copy of your own!

Spirituality The Episcopal Church

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The Rev. Joani Peacock, Editor for Emmanuel Voices: A Parish Blog

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