Sunday, December 13, 2015

Advent 3

The world, said a visiting preacher in church this morning at the end of her sermon, is too dangerous for anything but truth, and too big for anything but love. That's a quotation, the internet instructs me, from William Sloane Coffin, but it spoke powerfully to my feelings about the present moment.

Others, too, sense a gathering of clouds of war, a big one, whether in the proto-WW1-like conflicts on the margins of empires or the proto-WW2-like rise of near-fascist political movements. I quail at the thought that one of those hundreds of millions of guns making sport of our national security will be misused in a way which sets off an avalanche.

I'm thinking of some vigilante Islamophobe, not of the police in their continued murder of young men of color. But that may be because, while in Shanghai, I missed another avalanche. The year I was away seems to have been an epochal year for America, one in which the dream - "the Dream," Martin Luther King's dream, the "arc of justice" dream - died, or nearly. Can we do this? Have we the will?

Even in this unseasonable warmth - New York came close to hitting the high set for this day in 1925 today - the darkness of the season gets to you. The detritus of a year's getting and spending starts to block your view, even of yourself. Hope seems harder to maintain, more clearly a theological gift, a grace.

Light another candle. Maranatha, come Lord Jesus.

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