O God, make speed to save us
O Lord, make haste to help us.
I feel as though this is my daily prayer this Advent. During these days of lighting candles and waiting with patience and expectation the commemoration of the birth of Christ, we are faced with daily reports of gun violence, Islamaphobia, and too much attention to "The Donald" and his angry-filled rants about building walls and kicking Muslims out of the country. Mass shootings lead to mass gun sales. Billboards in California and North Carolina depict Santa with an AR-15.
Is this the reason for the season?
Oddly, it is a common backdrop for the upcoming Christmas. Because if we pay attention to what the Scripture talks about, Jesus was born into a tumultuous time. The Jews were under the thumb of the Roman Empire. Prejudice was rampant then, too. The people knew war... a lot. In many respects, it would seem that Jesus' birth occurred during "the worst of times" in the First Century of the world. So, yes: even as we sing about the little town in Bethlehem and its sweet lullaby-like music sounds discordant against a backdrop of violence and hatred, it is important to have this tune, and all the others that speak to peace on earth and good will toward all people to be on a permanent play in our heads and hearts.
For me, the commitment must be there to live into the ethic that Christ taught to love one another. This is the penicillin of peace against "The Donald" and all others who seek to divide this nation even further. To enter into his realm of hatred will only generate more hatred. This world cannot stand any more of that.