Stephen Williams
Cathedral Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem

Tidings of Jesus, redemption, and release . . .

The church is picturesque, red brick, sits on the corner of the only busy intersection that got its first ‘stop light’ only a few years ago. Go a mile in any direction and you’re into some serious corn, soybean, cotton, or cows. The steeple is white, tall and can be seen from miles way. In fact, now that I’m a little older, I’ve noticed that this church appears on virtually every poster that wants to portray Anytown, USA. But that’s where I spent the first decade and a half of my life, my parents making sure we were there every time the doors opened.

“We” were my parents and us four, two girls, two boys, each pair separated by fifteen or so years. As a wee boy, a vivid, indelible memory is standing on the pew between my parents, the Baptist Hymnal being held by my father on the left and mother on the right, listening to my father’s clear and beautiful tenor voice, and my mother’s rich alto. The hymn was “O Zion Haste” (The Hymnal 1982 #539) with that exciting high note at the end for which the tune provides a running start. I was never asked or told to sing; it was just assumed. The hymn was never one of my favorites. But, then again, it didn’t have to be. Its messages were and are clear, and have been throughout my life… to tell to all the world that God is Light.

Image: Public Domain from pixabay