Friday, December 20, 2019

Hope Comes: Advent III

The Christ-child breaks in. Hope breaks in.

For even those who have their wages stolen, their dignity taken away, their lights and heat turned off, the evicted, the homeless, the poor, the rejected, the tormented - hope comes. Hope will come.

It is our presence as Christians in the lives of others that is the present-day icon of Christ’s love in the world.  Today when we sit around hearth and home around our own common tables, or as we gather in warm churches and sing, or as we serve the poor, give blankets, sit with the sick and the dying, as we visit the lonely, or when we calm the fear of the anxious or reassure the depressed of God’s love for them and our love for them, when we give to those who cannot repay, those with no recompense - we are the hope that comes.

In fact, in serving, in making humanity our business, we find that they, those to whom we are sent, those to whom we go - that they represent Christ to us.

The season is the opportunity to enact the community that God imagines. 

Check out this episode!

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  • "Christianity is not a theory or speculation, but a life; not a philosophy of life, but a life and a living process." Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • "Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer." Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • "Perfection, in a Christian sense, means becoming mature enough to give ourselves to others." Kathleen Norris
  • "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can." John Wesley
  • "The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and left untried." G. K. Chesterton
  • "One of our great allies at present is the Church itself. Do not misunderstand me. I do not mean the Church as we see her spread out through all time and space and rooted in eternity, terrible as an army with banners. That, I confess, is a spectacle which makes our boldest tempters uneasy. But fortunately it is quite invisible to these humans." C. S. Lewis
  • "When we say, 'I love Jesus, but I hate the Church,' we end up losing not only the Church but Jesus too. The challenge is to forgive the Church. This challenge is especially great because the church seldom asks us for forgiveness." Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey
  • "Christians are hard to tolerate; I don't know how Jesus does it." Bono
  • "It's too easy to get caught in our little church subcultures, and the result is that the only younger people we might know are Christians who are already inside the church." Dan Kimball