Thursday, December 08, 2005

The Prophet of Advent: 2nd Thursday-B

Read Isaiah 14:1-2

I may be wrong, but I don't think the Christ Child is turning over in the manger because I might say 'Happy Holidays' to someone instead of 'Merry Christmas." And I don't believe God loses any sleep over the fact that a school may choose to have a 'holiday' program rather than a Christmas one, or that a business has a 'holiday tree' instead of a Christmas tree.

But I do think that God is bothered by the fact that so many folks choose to spend so much time arguing about which greeting, which phrase, which usage is right - especially when there are so many people in need of a word of hope, of grace, of joy.

I do believe that the Christ Child weeps because we choose to hold so much resentment and express so much anger towards people who don't appreciate the "reason for the season" - as if the reason God became human was to make it okay to speak so judgmentally and unkindly about those who are also God's children.

I am pretty sure the Spirit of Advent must shake her head whenever we try to blame the politicians, the stores, the corporations for 'taking Christ out of Christmas' when so many of us will spend more money in these few weeks than we have probably given all year to feed the hungry, or clothe the naked, or nurse the sick back to health.

We can celebrate the birth of Jesus by continuing to choose blame, anger, resentment, judgment in this holiest of seasons. Or we can, like Isaiah tells us God does, choose to have compassion.


We would not like to open our presents on Christmas and discover them filled with the ashes of bitterness, or the scraps of anger from our hearts. So help us, Desire of the Ages, to crave compassion, to wish for wisdom, to glean grace in the coming days, so we might live more like you. Amen.

(c) 2005 Thom M. Shuman

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