Be aware, keep alert, for you do not know when the time will come… Therefore keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.
-Mark 13: 33, 35-37
With whom do you belong? Who is sacred to you?
We have entered now
that time of watchful waiting,
a season of ripening contradictions.
Festooned with jingle jangle
the temples of commerce
lure us with indulgences so very good for the economy.
All the while in hallowed spaces
choirs sweetly croon
over starlit snow-globe nativities.
Though we know well this siren-song,
with its fuzzy festive feelings,
it is still so difficult to stay awake.
To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.
In this well-distracted, deep-divided world,
Christ takes flesh;
God-within, around, among us all.
Meanwhile, blinded by brutality,
carved up by inequity,
our fractured family huddles into separateness.
Though some bow to the East
and others incline to the West,
we all hark either from Global North or South.
And many must take that risky exodus
crossing desert, sea or mountain
in search of possibility and the promise of a new beginning.
From ages past no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who works for those who wait…
It is so easy to divide us—
Dives from Lazarus—
the handful who own more than the billions on the bottom.
With fervor some of us commit heinous crimes
in the name of a merciless god.
Others give their lives in the name of national supremacy.
And many millions find ourselves
somewhere in the middle,
watching, worried, wondering.
It may feel safe to stay distracted,
look away from far off diseases,
disregard neighborhood protests, tune out terror.
We might even decorate ourselves
with piety or pageantry.
But wishful hoping does not bring peace to birth.
Into this world, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ has come uninvited. But because he cannot be at home in it, because he is out of place in it, and yet he must be in it, his place is with those others who do not belong, who are rejected by power, because they are regarded as weak, those who are discredited, who are denied the status of persons, tortured, exterminated. With those for whom there is no room, Christ is present in this world.
Christ has not come
just for the few or the some,
for God wears the skin of everyone.
No wall, no fence or boundary,
no system of caste, class or color,
can contain the merciful cascade meant for all and everyone.
Christ bides with us already.
And we will know and be known,
when, as one body, we refuse to be gated or segregated.
Under the rain of mercy
all are re-consecrated,
as separations are wiped away.
In the body of Christ
there is no room for “they” no place for “them”
for justice is “just us.”
May you find your way to celebrate God-with-US today!