Ok. I know there is no sign in this picture. When I look at this picture I can't help but remember the sign that came before you took the path. The sign said do not stray from the path. My son had just learned about the supervolcano in Yellowstone which would totally wipe us out like the dinosaurs. He had been telling me as we lived in Wyoming at the time that there would be nothing we could do, if it blew we were goners. So that summer when we took our vacation to Yellowstone the sign stuck with. Do Not Stray from the Path. So I am of course thinking about walking on those spots where the supervalcano is bleeding through the ground. There is not much chance that I will stray from the path. Beside the words telling you that the ground is soft and porus and you could slip into extremely hot and dangerous conditions. There was not much chance of me straying from the path. But then we saw someone straying from the path. They were on the edge and could fall through into the boiling hot water/land. So there was the sign, don't stray from the path and yet the park rangers were called to rescue them from the scalding of falling through the earth's soft crust. There are signs every where with detailed explanations and yet people continue to stray from the path.
During Advent we are invited to watch for the signs of God coming among us. We are to watch for the presence of God among us and with us. We are to wait and watch for God coming among us.
When I look around the world, having just watched a report on the number of attacks on Muslims and Sikh. Hate crimes against Muslims and people perceived as Muslim have risen dramatically. Some of these crimes have vandalism with messages about Jesus as the way, the one. But if we stayed on the path that Jesus lays out for us. A path where the least. the last, and the lost become the first, the found, and the most. Where Jesus shows how to love by healing the wounded, feeding the hungry, welcoming the outcast, and arguing with the comfortable. The path of love speaks to the foreigner, the stranger, and provides comfort and hope. The path of love calls us to be different than the world around us to meet violence with the other cheek, to meet someone who takes from you by offering them more, to love your enemies, pray for your enemies. The path of love calls us to take a different course than the rhetoric of the day invited us into. We are see see people as beloved children of God, we are to seek forgiveness when we have fallen from the path, we are invited to turn back to God.
God bless us and disturb us as we celebrate the feast,
When he who ranked the highest came to earth to be the least,
Lest we consign to Satan’s power those
for whom joy has ceased:Refrain: Oh, come, Christ the Savior from below, from above, and infect the depths of earth with heavenly love. John Bell, Iona
God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman