The Gospel from Matthew this week begins with the words: “When John heard in prison what the Messiah was doing …”
Wait. John was in prison?
Oh, yeah. Right.
When you defy the Empire, it resists.
by Susan Russell
This week we light the third candle on the Advent wreath and pray the prayer “Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us.” Sounds great – but what exactly does that mean? Sometimes I think we pray these things a little too lightly – it doesn’t hurt to occasionally consider what it is we’re asking for. What exactly happens when that power comes among us – rests upon us?
We are — all of us –in some sense immigrants and sojourners, strangers in a strange land seeking a homeland. Some of us or members of our families have personally experienced hardships and, at times, unspeakable indignities, in coming to America. Others of us fortunate to have been born here have trekked into the desert wilderness to see for ourselves the migrant path of tears and triumph.
by James Walker
As I write this short reflection on the eve of the first Sunday of Advent, I find myself in a place of deep gratitude for this season of expectant waiting and hopeful contemplation. Even at this very moment, as I returned from my favorite lunch place where the restaurant staff was removing pumpkins and replacing them with baby Christmas trees and reindeer, I have once again made the conscious decision to not surrender. Advent, yes!
by Antonio Gallardo
Every time that the Advent season starts I can’t avoid thinking about this time of the year while I was growing up in Venezuela. On a day like today –December 1st — all the traditions to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s started. Every house got a new coat of paint, decorations were all over the city on houses, streets, and buildings.
by Sally Howard
This Advent in particular, I have been drawn to the figure of John the Baptist. That’s surprising to me because he’s not my favorite character of the Bible. I am usually happy to get past him and on to the annunciation of God’s incredible love story, of utter identification with us and our vulnerability, in the coming of baby Jesus.