It's a season of Christmas cards. And though this might be a trite way to share the spirit of the season with our loved ones, it is something I enjoy. As someone that is terrible about using the phone and likes to get mail, I love the Christmas card season (mind you, I have not sent mine).
And this week, I got a card from my denomination. It was actually sent to the previous associate, but really, I don't care. It's a really pretty card that proudly declares "God is still speaking" which comes as no surprise to we in the proud UCC. But, what I really like and have never noticed in the other GISS campaign materials, is what appears on the back of the card in plain old 12 point font: Shelter for the Spiritually Homeless.
My peer in ministry retorted, "if only we could live up to that!" Perhaps it is a lofty aspiration, but a noble one I fear in this world where our Episcopalian brothers and sisters are fighting about the full humanity of God's children to the point of division. I should read more about this Nigerian Bishop to understand what the real matter is underneath the rift. But, it only depresses me. It depresses me that this is what we fight about when Jesus sent us out to love. Didn't he? Or did my exegesis go totally haywire?
As I sit here composing my Christmas prayer, I realize that I'm stuck in darkness. I didn't really think about it until I tried to write this prayer for Christmas -- not Advent, but Christmas. I can talk about the darkness and the longing. But, I wonder if our hope is met with dissatisfaction. Two thousand years later, it seems that I identify more and more with the shepherds shock and the wisepeople still on a journey toward peace and light. I really, really want Mary's confident prayer "Here am I, the servant of the Lord, let it be with me according to your word" (Lk 1:38, NRSV). But, I'm stuck in the darkness wanting to proclaim light more than anything. But, how can I?