In her sermon on the second Sunday in Advent, my colleague Amy Miracle asked “Where does it hurt?”

She encouraged us to talk with God about our pain and the pain of the world.


Poet Ann Weems helps us acknowledge the pain we’ve carried with us into the pandemic and now into Advent in her poem Yesterday’s Pain.


Some of us walk into Advent

tethered to our unresolved yesterdays

the pain still stabbing

the hurt still throbbing.

It’s not that we don’t know better;

it’s just that we can’t stand up anymore by ourselves.

On the way to Bethlehem,

will you give us a hand?


Whatever the source of our pain, faith reminds us that we do not carry it alone.  God is with us.  When we can’t stand up anymore by ourselves, God offers us a hand; spiritually and also physically, through the care and concern of others.  God is in the hands offered to us…and in the courage it takes to reach back.


In recent days, we’ve been reminded how weary and exhausted health care workers are.  For those who are able to offer a hand, consider writing a few supportive and encouraging notes to those working locally in health care.  This is something tangible you can do to address the pain and suffering in the world.


Here are some tips:

  • These notes are for encouragement—share good, positive energy with hospital staff.
  • They can be very short; even just a kind word helps.
  • If you like, the note can be specific about what you appreciate—(“thanks for sacrificing for us”; “thanks for your kindness”; “wishing you patience”).
  • Notes can be from any age group… from children to elders, all support is appreciated!  Crayons, stickers, etc. are welcome!
  • You can email your message to Rosalind Swayne at, mail-in, or drop notes off at BSPC by December 24 and we will send them to area hospitals.


-Written by Rev. Ann Palmerton



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