Courage, Dear Hearts

light-in-the-darkness-chinaFrom my sermon for the Third Sunday of Advent:

The Christmas story does not hide the fact that Jesus was born into a dark and impoverished world, and his survival was surrounded by violence. The real Christmas story is actually a pretty rough story.

But from that story, comes the one true hope of the world – the God who created all things, seen and unseen, who creates humankind to bear his own image, joins the human journey to reveal what it means to be truly human, truly alive.  He calls us to bet everything on his loving reign and the promise of a world reborn.  He tells us that the deepest meaning of life is to love God, to love our neighbors, to love our selves, and then gives us the inspiration, the power to do just that.

In her statement regarding the tragedy in Newtown, our Presiding Bishop, Katherine Shori asks us this question: “Will you pray and work toward a different future, the one the Bible’s prophets dreamed of, where city streets are filled with children playing in safety?”

I love her question, “Will you pray and work toward a different future?” I think that’s what John the Baptist asked of the crowds who gathered at the Jordan.  I think that’s the question that we have the capacity to answer and is the reason we exist as a community of faith.  And it is, finally the most important response we can make in the face of tragedy – praying and working for a different future.

Take courage, dear hearts.

Audio of Sermon here.