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 are?
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)