It’s The Wednesday Writers!
No idea what I’m talking about? Read this.
Today we hear from my friend Tara Ulrich.
O little town of Bethlehem, how still we see they lie, above thy deep and dreamless sleep, the silent stars go by, yet in thy dark streets shineth, the everlasting light, the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.
But today, the lights in Bethlehem are no longer burning bright. They have been shut off because of those in power who think they are doing the right thing. Yet they do not know the consequences of their own actions.
I find myself crying out, “Do you know not what you are doing?” This city of peace is no longer a city of peace. The hopes have been dashed and the fears of today are still there. In fact, the fears have paralyzed the people in this city.
I am usually one who will sit and listen to both sides of an argument. Yet as I listen to my friends who have visited this holy city, I can no longer stand silent. I must speak up for this city of peace. The city where this precious infant Emmanuel is born in a manger. His cry pierced the darkness. The Holy One whose birth into the world proclaimed the good news of God.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”
– John 3:16-17
In the midst of chaos and unrest, can we trust in this one who brings about the peace that passes all human understanding? This one who promises to come down and rend the heavens; bringing God’s kingdom on earth – a kingdom where there will finally be peace for all the world – peace for my LGBTQ friends, peace for Muslim friends, peace for my brown and black friends, peace for all of God’s beloved children.
And when this day comes, the city of Bethlehem will once again stand with her lights shining bright, knowing that Christ came into the world through this holy city that calls us all to proclaim God’s redemptive love and peace.
Tara Ulrich blogs at Praying on the Prairie. She is a minister of Word and Service; a deacon of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) serving in western North Dakota as the Director of Home and Congregational Life. She has served at churches in Dilworth, Minnesota, Beulah, North Dakota and Minot, North Dakota.
She is a farmer’s daughter, granddaughter and niece. The prairies of North Dakota are her happy place. She is also the daughter of a woman who lives daily with a mental illness. You can read their story in the book Living as a Daughter: 31 Days of Mental Illness.