St. Mary’s of Bethlehem was the name of a London hospital for the mentally disturbed. Over the years its name was shortened to “Bedlam,” from which we get our word. In our day the Bedlam Hospital has become a museum for the British military. We have traveled from Bethlehem to Bedlam; from peace to war; from love to terror; from singing to shouting.

Our society has moved from Bethlehem to Bedlam and the Advent season provides the opportunity for us to find our way back. We need to ask, in the midst of our darkness is there someone who can turn on the lights? In the midst of our horror can we find joy? In the midst of disharmony is there a song?

This Advent devotional guide has been prepared by several members of River Road Church representing a broad cross-section of our membership. Importantly it is wonderfully illustrated by our children.  We hope it will help us find our way back to Bethlehem.

Our prayer is that during this Advent season Christ may be born anew in each of our lives.