2019 Advent Devotional

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May 25
Bethlehem Bedlam by Rob Douglass
Peace on earth was what the angels proclaimed to the shepherds so many years ago. But sometimes what we experience at the holidays is anything but peace.
The word, bedlam, means a state of uproar and confusion. It was originally a word to refer to the chaos of a mental hospital.
In 1247 London, a hospital opened that was connected with the monastery called St. Mary of Bethlehem. Within 200 years it had become a mental hospital. Some records indicate that it had even become a tourist attraction where people would go to heckle inmates.
During this same time, the name Bethlehem underwent a corruption, and it came to be pronounced “bedlam.” So, the chaos at the mental hospital at St. Mary of Bethlehem gave rise to our use of the word, bedlam.
I hope your celebration of Christmas can’t be described as bedlam, but even if it is, you can know peace. You see, it was into the chaos of our mess that Jesus came. He still comes into the bedlam of our lives. The angels announced it, Jesus brought it, and I pray that you may know his peace this season even if you are the midst of craziness.
Jesus, you are said to be the Prince of Peace. There are a lot of areas in my life that are full of bedlam. Would you please come into my chaos and bring me your peace. Amen.