Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 11, 2012

Today's text

When all the people asked him, 'What must we do, then?' he answered, 'Anyone who has two tunics must share with the one who has none, and anyone with something to eat must do the same.' There were tax collectors, too, who came for baptism, and these said to him, 'Master, what must we do?' He said to them, 'Exact no more than the appointed rate' (Luke 3:10-14).


Gwen sent me an e-mail today. She wants help buying two goats for her grandchildren.

The goats aren’t for them but will go to a needy family to provide milk and presumably little goats to sell and produce income. Gwen says her grandchildren love the idea that somewhere in the world a family will receive two goats, given in their name.

I also hope they learn how to see the way the way their grandmother sees. Gwen sees through God’s eyes.

She sees a world hungry for the kingdom of God to come. And she bears a holy instinct that knows God’s new world appears every time justice is done for the needy, even if it looks as inconsequential as two small goats.

We live in a world where children toil in sweat shops so we can buy cheap goods, a world where tens of thousands perish of hunger every day, where most people must drink polluted water that sickens and kills, a world where two goats can save the lives of children in an African village.

Christ is born into this world, not a world more perfect than the one we’ve got. He comes
to overturn the reign of sorrow and death that casts its long shadow over human hearts and nations.

John the Baptist leaves little doubt about how to get ready for this new world. Give your extra coat to someone who needs it. Don’t oppress or take advantage. Don’t take more than your share. Don’t be addicted to your wealth or way of life. Feed the hungry. Spend less. Share more.

Keep your eyes on God’s future, the one where compassion rules and justice covers the earth like the waters cover the sea.

Then look at the world as Gwen does, and become the warmth of Christ for which you hunger in this and every season.

 For prayer and reflection

  • What do you want Christ to turn upside down in our world? In your life?
  • Who or what helps you see the injustice of this world?
  • How can you be involved in works of mercy, feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger, clothing the poor, etc.?
  • What desire to serve or help others has been awakened in you this season?

 Another voice

Long Lay the World in sin and error pining, “til he appeared and the soul felt it’s worth. A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices. As yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
(O Holy Night, Adolphe Adam, 1847)

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