Jesus, the “lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world,” relieves us of our fear. To follow him means to live in such a way that others may be free from fear.
God, too, says, “I have a dream.” It’s what Jesus calls the “kingdom of heaven,” or the realm of God. It’s an Empire of grace and justice, shared equally by all people. We are called to follow Jesus in working for that dream, against all fear and hatred that will resist God’s dream.
The magi knelt and honored the child Jesus, acknowledging that he was greater than they. In Jesus’ baptism God bestows both love and also an assignment. When we renew our baptismal vows we submit our will to God as our “higher power,” and re-commit ourselves to carry out our calling: to live with love in this world.
The story of the magi and their faithful pilgrimage is also the story of Herod and the fearful resistance of Empire against the grace of God. It’s not pretty, but we need to hear it to get the Good News.
We love being together as a family on Christmas. Christmas is our celebration that this life is God’s “family time” with us.
God is present, even in things that seem strange, disappointing or even threatening. In all things God will bless you– but also use you for God’s purposes of justice and mercy.
Advent promises God’s radical re-modeling of this world into a place of justice. That may seem like a great task, but we are given gifts to be part of it: when we practice mercy, we build a new world.
Advent calls us to repent in preparation for Christ’s coming: not to hide our faults so we’re accepted, but to change our hearts so we shine with God’s light, so we become the people we’re created to be and bear the fruits of love.