Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Prophet of Advent: 2nd Saturday-B

Read Isaiah 25:1-5

The story of our faith begins in a garden
(see Genesis), and ends in a city (the new
Jerusalem of Revelation). So, it should
not surprise us that cities stand under God's
will, and God's chastening.

And it seems that the cities back in Isaiah's
time were no different than our modern cities.
The city growls at the homeless, who are only
looking for shelter on a winter's night, hoping
they will leave the city limits and be someone
else's problem.

The city is on the prowl for the poor, making
sure they know which neighborhoods are theirs -
the one with few stores, with fewer services,
but with more police, more rundown housing,
more problems with sewage, with water, with lights.

The city sows the seeds for greed as leadership spends
millions on demands from corporations and sports teams,
who threaten to leave if the money is not forthcoming,
while schools disintegrate and funding for medical
services for the poor are cut.

Yet, there is hope, Isaiah tells us. God's great powers
of reversal will be at work once again, when the city
becomes the place where the homeless find refuge
in God's heart (and ours), and God's hands (along with
ours) shelter the poor with hope, with peace, with love.

The only thing we have to decide is which city we
want to live in.


We live in our comfortable suburbs, using the city
only for sporting events, fancy meals, and shopping.
We know which neighborhoods to avoid, and which
streets not to drive down. And so, we miss seeing
you, Reversing God, sweeping up the broken glass,
giving flu shots to the poor, mentoring children in
the schools we ignore. Help us to move in with
you and rebuild our ruined cities. Amen.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

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