The choices we make
The prayer below was written by a circle of women, all of them mothers, who met together for a day in Durham, England. They reflected on the Magnificat, a song that Mary sang in response to the news that she was pregnant; an ancient song that was sung by others before her.
May these words help us to reflect upon the choices we make in response to the birthing of new life in the world. Blessings, Karen
Choosing to let your child be born in poverty and doubtful parentage.
Choosing an occupied country with unstable rulers.
Choosing the risk of his dying in a dirty stable,
after a long journey by a pregnant teenager.
Choosing to let him grow up poor, in danger
and misunderstood by those who loved him.
we doubt the wisdom of your choices then
and we doubt them now;
while the rich are still full
and it is the poor who get sent empty away.
Help us, lest we in our anger and ignorance,
choose to walk another way.
Thoughts of home and Christmas, just seem to go together. Among the rituals we create for this darkest time of the year in the Northern hemisphere, many of them are associated with either going home or doing special things at home-- putting up lights on our houses, opening Advent calendar windows, decorating a Christmas tree, caroling through the neighborhood, or hosting festive “open house” parties for friends, neighbors, and colleagues. It’s all about home.
The name “Advent” comes from the Latin word adventus which means “coming.” This advent season I invite you to a different kind of home-coming: one where we come home to the story of the birth of Jesus. You will need to dig out that bible that is probably hiding away on a shelf somewhere. If you can’t find one, there are lots at church that you can borrow.
We think we know the story of Jesus’ birth but what does it actually say in the bible? I will give you a clue on where to look – find the 4 Gospels of the Christian Scriptures [New Testament]. Which tell of the birth of Jesus and which do not? Is there one cohesive story or a number of different stories? How do you find meaning in this birth narrative – as a literal account or as metaphor? Which parts of the story speak to your life?
May we come home to hope, peace, love and joy this advent season.
Jesus on justice
A mandate for justice envisions a world where people everywhere have –
- access to food security, shelter and healthcare
- opportunities for education and employment
- freedom of religion and the media
- fair governance and social order
- human right to thrive whilst contributing to the well being of others
The life and teaching of Jesus invites us to make our decisions based on justice; to develop a worldview which balances our individual responsibilities whilst nurturing caring community. What we do reveals what we believe. Jesus demonstrated his social activism by
- including the excluded
- challenging cultural practices
- confronting the powerful
- advocating for the oppressed
May we follow in his footsteps.