Monday, November 30 Reflection by Nate Crary, Director of Worship
I have never paid more attention to the moon than when Chelsey and I lived in Beit Sahur in 2013-14. Beit Sahur (pronounced “bayt sahoor”), a sleepy southern suburb of Bethlehem located in the occupied Palestinian territories, is home to two Shepherds’ Fields, where angels and stars once suddenly appeared, leading those first followers of Christ to where the newborn lay, Immanuel, God with us.
After we arrived for a year of living and accompaniment, our day-to-day lives quickly became pretty simple and routine. Chelsey and I would spend four days a week volunteering for a few hours alongside Palestinian-born English teachers at two K-12 Lutheran schools. A couple days a week we would go spend an hour with Michael, our Arabic teacher. We cooked most of our meals in a spacious home we had to ourselves, located on the property owned by the Rishmawi family, our hosts. We even ventured about a mile from our home to work out at the YMCA (pronounced “yim-kaa” by locals) a few days a week.
While we settled in to this simple pattern of being, time seemed to suddenly stop. It’s like I was waiting for it to all be over as soon as it started. My mind couldn’t stand being present and would resort to meandering down an emotionally and spiritually desperate place of exhaustion.
Noticing how the moon grew and shrunk each night served to remind me that time is always passing, tomorrow is just below the horizon. And, in those dark days during the quiet desert nighttime, the brightness of the moon and the stars reminded me that I am never alone. God was and is always with me.
As you wait for what’s next, I pray that your mind can find peace and quiet in the shadows of nighttime, remembering God’s unexpected and relentless presence. Amen, come, Lord Jesus
Christ the King Lutheran Church
1900 7th Street NW
New Brighton, MN 55112
Office Hours: temporarily by appointment only (Mon - Thurs)
Sunday Morning Worship at 9:30 am
12 pm Cristo Rey Servicio en Español
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