"To testify to the Light"
John 1:6-8; 19-28 "He came. .to testify to the light. ."
Advent is a time of reflection, a time of pondering who we are in light of God's coming gift in Christ, and we lose sight of that aspect of Advent amidst all the gifts, dinners, and parties. People tell me that I am "different", and tonight at 4 a.m. as I made my way home I observed the drug dealers, sex workers, and homeless people, and I was reminded that is my calling to be "different," and to own it, and to appreciate it. I have been identified with John the Baptist for years and in reflecting on that reflection I claim that as well.
For like John I proclaim a Jesus who challenges people in their comfortability:
--a Jesus who says we are all one in him, whether we are queer, straight, black, white, red, brown, pink--there is no difference.
--a Jesus who recognizes that marriage is for everyone--straight, or queer;
--a Jesus who condemns the death penalty; supports harm reduction, and
--a Jesus who opens the doors of ordination to gay/ straight/bi-sexual/transgender and women;
--a Jesus who does not judge on the things of the culture wars but on how we treat each other;
--a Jesus who sees the universiality of all religions;
--a Jesus who calls us to share equally of what we have, so that all may have--with that sharing there would be no more hunger nor homelessness; and
--a Jesus who condemns war and violence in any kind.
A Buddhist saying sums up for me what I believe we should be about this Advent, and this New Year:
"The world is created from the mind, if people's minds are fond of killing, the world will be filled with war; If people's mind cherish life then we will have a peaceful world."
This Advent the challenge of the Christ is to cherish life in all of its forms, love your neighbor as yourself, and in so doing you will love him. Have blessed Christmas!