Like where we were born or grew up.
Where we met our true love, where we got married.
Where the family will gather for Christmas.
Where we work, where we worship, where our people are buried.
These places have special associations, they stir feelings and memories.
Bethlehem was a special place for it was the birthplace of King David.
As a boy he grazed his father’s sheep near here, and perhaps first sang
‘The Lord’s my shepherd.’
No better place then for the ‘Good Shepherd’ Saviour to be born,
With outcast shepherds among the first invited to the celebration!
But the magic is not in the location, the air, the soil, the bricks and mortar.
Somewhere becomes special because of what happens there,
The encounter, the realisation, the decision taken,
That’s what makes ground sacred,
And it could be anywhere.
It could be right where you’re sitting right now reading this,
If you decide to welcome and submit your heart and life to the One born
To be your Saviour, Shepherd, King.
Right there, right now could be for you, holy ground,
A place of encounter with the living God.
This, for you, could be a place of new birth!
(Based on an address given at Dunfanaghy/Carrigart Carol Service 13th December 2015)
Happy Christmas, and grace and peace for 2016 to readers everywhere!