Reflection on First Sunday of Advent:
Watch, Wait and Prepare
by the Rev.
Margaret W. Thomas
Gazing and Watching the skies in 2003 has been exciting - celestial,
lunar and solar sights to ponder. We gazed into the East
across Gitchee Gumee (Lake Superior) at Mars. As it hung in apogee
over Wisconsin, it cast paths of reflected light, sometimes it
nudged near the moon. Our perspective brought them in rare convergence
for our time and earthly place in the cosmos. Now, in fall astronomers
report solar flares, a caution to electronic navigation. Must
we resort to vision and dead reckoning to see and know where we
What do we see and hear in the life of humans on the globe? There
are prayers during Rhamadan, Hanukkah, meditations from the many
mountains and Advent prepares for Christ’s Mass. Do we hear them
or only some? The Ojibway told stories in the darkening days of
the north. The lodges of old are were bark, with couches of cedar
and fur. All the earth’s tribes in the northern hemisphere focused
on the shortening days. Gathering together to sustain each other
with light and warmth, humans semi hibernated and cared for each
other. Jesus’ words sustain and promise us a new realm. He promises
a unity from his ultimate gift of love and care for all of us.
How do we view the globe’s people in pain? African wars, drought,
and illness sadden, but seem so far away. American mining and
manufacturing wanes or is eclipsed as Minnesota Iron is to be
trained to the west coast and shipped to China, for manufacturing
and shipping back for auto parts.
Private Lynch cannot remember whether she was raped or not. Two
helicopters collide. There is still no water in many places in
Iraq. In Afghanistan some women can now go about freely, attend
school and work.
Young Chinese women workers suffer the burns and again of carpel
tunnel as they mold plastics into flowers and Christmas lights
and toys (many are guns) for global markets. Wall Mart is to build
200 stores in China we hear. Is the stuff needed by anyone, really?
No unions or environmental restrictions protect the workers or
the regions were they work.
The “Holy Land” is holy to many, yet many now flee or live faint
from fear and foreboding. Another car bomb explodes. Newspapers
feature smiling Palestinian school girls returning to school.
Where do we see the truth? Remember the siege of the church of
the Nativity last spring?
Fires rage and floods return where people refuse to let the earth
alone to protect itself in our seeking of private beauty and vista.
Alaskan Athabaskan Indians are given another reprieve in their
yearning to stave off oil drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife
Refuge. There will be many young birds and animals born there
this spring. Bishop Mark MacDonald and many others continue to
work to preserve a sustainable way of life and the abundance of
many species. John Cobb Jr. speaks at a local gathering of concerned
Christians and others, to plea for an awareness of connectedness
and mutual concern in Christ’s name. He encourages folks to combine
and create new ways to sustain for the future together.
“Let the heavens declare the rightness of his cause: for God
himself is judge” Psalm 50: v 6 (NRSV)
Rev. Margaret W. Thomas was the Rector of St. Edward
the Confessor Episcopal Church, Duluth, MN, when she wrote
this reflection in 2003. Margaret and we welcome
your comments. Please address your comments or additional
reflections to Margaret
W. Thomas or any MEESC
member, or mail them to:
c/o C. Morello
4451 Lakeside Drive
Eveleth, MN 55743-4400 USA
assumes that all correspondence received is for publication
on this web site. If your comments are not for publication,
please so note on your correspondence. The MEESC reserves
the right to decide which items are included on the
This page last