For three hours on Tuesday, September 1, Kim Tingler, Judy Oguich, Dianne Moore, and I met via Zoom. This was our second meeting on the annual Advent devotional book.

Our goal that day was to finalize scripture selections, choose photographs, and figure out who from our congregation might be willing to write a devotion.

Pastor Larry had offered scripture guidance, Kim set up the technology for the meeting and provided a list of possible writers, Judy guided us to pinpoint the practical wisdom from the suggested scriptures, Dianne is the photograph expert, and I just tag along.

The devotions this year are linked to the four stanzas of the hymn “People Look East.”

I don’t know about you, but when I think about looking East I’m always drawn to the start of a new day with the first beams of sunlight peeking over the horizon.

I will admit, I will be happy to see the year 2020 sink into the western sky on December 31. But in truth, 2020 is now forever etched into our memories like a bad sunburn.

If we forget 2020, we will miss an opportunity to learn about ourselves, our neighbors, and our troubled world.

We need that light from the East. We need the light from the birth of Jesus. We need to find the light within ourselves to share with this world.

People look East—for in that light is hope.

Bill Pike

richmond skyline

People, Look East

Verse 1. People, look east, the time is near of the crowning of the year. Make your house fair as you are able, trim the hearth and set the table.  People, look east and sing today, Love, the Guest, is on the way.

Verse 2.    Furrows be glad, though earth is bare, one more seed is planted there.  Give up your strength the seed to nourish, that in course the flower may flourish.  People, look east and sing today.  Love, the Rose, is on the way.

Verse 3.  Stars keep the watch.  When night is dim, one more light the bowl shall brim, shining beyond the frosty weather, bright as sun and moon together.  People, look east and sing today, Love the Star is on the way.

Verse 4.  Angels announce with shouts of mirth, him who brings new life to earth.  Set every peak and valley humming with the word, the Lord is coming.  People, look east and sing

today: Love, the Lord, is on the way.

United Methodist Hymnal, 202

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