Advent Thoughts 2014

My mind is a-swirl with the mess that seems to be the state of the world at the end of this strange year. The world seems to be twisting and turning… but in which direction? Where shall we find the light in the darkness?

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.” Luke 1:46-55

The world was also a-swirl for this one woman legitimately afraid that her child might be the next one the authorities kill. Still! she grabs tight on to this hope; this promise of new life; a light that even the deepest darkness could not snuff out.

The US groans under the weight racial tension and the legacy of a racist system that was never fully dismantled. African American parents fear for the life of their children wondering if they might be the next to be assumed dangerous whether they have committed a crime or not. An increased gap in wealth inequality stretches our social fabric to rending point, multiplying racial tensions. The US has upgraded to cyber war with North Korea as comedians fail to grasp the consequences of ignoring the context and history of a war currently in progress. All of us here working on reconciliation and building bridges for peace across the DMZ are bracing for roadblocks to our efforts because of this movie, The Interview. Both the South and North envision absorption of the other as reunification policy, as the South just declared an entire political party to be illegal because a part of its constitution supposedly resembles ideas of North Korea. I can’t breathe. We are in desperate need for God to turn this world upside down.

And yet… and yet… none of this can completely extinguish the light of the hope of Jesus the Christ. A light for us when all other lights go out. The hope that God will help our work for reconciliation to continue; the hope that God will heal the wounds of US communities and bring understanding and empathy; the hope that even in the darkest night we can still press on. Even when all our earthly institutions crumble, all our efforts fail, and we have nothing left of our own strength we will have this light to hold on to.

light in the darkness

light in the darkness

So I grasp on hold, and I hope you join your hands with me.

May God bring peace through our broken world.

Amen.

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