Advent 2017.1 – Impatient Waiting

False messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce signs and omens, to lead astray. . .be alert. . .I have already told you everything. . .keep awake.
Mark 13:21-37

The powers and principalities of the Earth have cast a dark, ominous presence over this world that, if left unchallenged, will siphon all hope from those who need it most.

The shadows are stalked by false messiahs and prophets who prey upon the fears of the masses, convincing them that only they can save this world from destruction. Or worse, they pacify their audiences by affirming their prejudcies and hatred, and in return the people lay their hands on the deceitful ones, offering unholy blessings.

They create phony wars on one of the holiest of days and make empty, meaningless delcarations like, “We’re saying Merry Christmas again.” For they know the problem the  Christ Child poses is a political one. This Gift Bringer promises hope, love, peace, and justice. But not the familiar justice of retribution and punishment. No. This is about God’s justice- Restorative. (re)Distributive. Abundant. God will not be mocked.

God’s Light of Hope shines truth upon those who practice the dark arts of oppression, disregard for basic human rights, dehumanization, greed, and war, dispelling their lies. For Jesus has already told us all we need to know.

The Light of Hope grants the faithful the “impatience to wait for [Christ’s] coming to the bottom of our toes, to the edges of our fingertips” (W. Brueggemann). We are awake, alert, prepared.  We are not idle. Instead, we are mobilized and actively defy those who would bring harm upon our sisters and brothers no matter their place in life. So, we walk toward the Light of Hope, yearning for the promise of the Christ-child. The Gift Bringer. The Messiah.

Resolution 2013: Let’s try this again

The Earth has completed another revolution around the Sun as it has for over 4 billion years. It is another reminder of how insignificant we are in the context of time.  We’re simply not as important as we think we are.  

Blue Marble courtesy of NASA

So, may this next trip around our Sun be filled with more joy, gratitude, and respect toward the planet and ALL of its inhabitants (including the people we find hard to like and love).

May our resolutions be filled with meaningful and purposeful goals that benefit the good of all.  May our speech, including our Tweets and Facebook status updates, be gracious, showing restraint in regards to unmitigated scrutiny, judgment, and contempt.   May we cease to be peddlers of fear and instead become voices of hope. 

May we, as it has been said by others, be tough on the problems facing us all and a lot easier on each other.  Our appearance on this stage, as Shakespeare once called it, is brief and, unlike very few, may be without fame or celebrity status.  But as we live and breath on the brink of 2013 we get to take another spin on this planet and a chance to make a positive and productive contribution.  So, let’s try this again, only with less rage and hate, and a lot more peace and love. 

Happy New Year!