Sunday, December 18, 2016

Advent 2016

I wept for joy this morning at the faces of all the people at the local diner who braved the fresh 5" of snow to enjoy breakfast out with family right before Christmas. As I pondered Imago Dei in every one of them it struck me when a man proudly wearing a Leather jacket embroidered with a rebel flag walked past me. I looked around and realized that most of those people voted differently than me and just moments before, I was seeing God in them.

I wept again that finding the Imago Dei from my perspective was not going to work and God was going to have to teach me new techniques. I see my own "...isms," and "...ists." -God help me.

Then, as I realized the difficulty and the history of warfare and the fallacies of mass hysteria that have always led to violence, I recognized that there were other times when the Church's witness to the world was going to be forced into more and more silence. But the Church has always been born again through the times when caring for poor has been relegated to the churches.

I looked again at my neighbors in that restaurant and wondered just how in the world I was going to lead them to give up the fear and bigotry that they either outright supported or did not care enough about to stop. How, God? That was my prayer.

I was weeping pretty hard there for a while.

I confess, I knew the reversal of civil rights was coming. It was there. I saw it. I just thought that there was enough momentum to get us through. I dream of the coasts where I would not have to contend with the fly-over's calls for my empathy. Sympathy is all I can muster and that is a Spiritual pathos, is it not? God, again, help me.

But alas, I turned to the message of Advent and remembered its focus:


Immanuel: God with us. GOD.

God -Born to much less than our worse imaginations.

God -Lived to show me how to imagine God within people, regardless.

God -Murdered for caring about the poor. (According to my own understanding of atonement, He was murdered by me as well.)

God -Living again in a community of people who are willing to follow Jesus. A resurrection happened. A Community is born and every time we suffer persecution, we are born again.

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