Here it is the second Sunday of Advent, and what an Advent it is. Occupiers protest corporate greed even as stock prices climb. Merchants report the best Black Friday in several years. TV, Radio, Print, and the Net keep up the standard encouragment to spend! spend! spend! and we seem anxious to comply. Money we don't have is flying out of our wallets to prove to those who know we love them that we love them. It's another "Green Christmas." And somewhere beneath the piles of wrapping paper and tinsel, a baby waits to be born. Somewhere beneath the blairing commercials and muzak carols a baby cries unheard.
It seems as if know one knows, or cares, whose birthday it is we celebrate. But then, no one much cared 2000 years ago. Only a few shepherds and some pagan priests showed up. Even those who should have known, didn't: and when they found out they were afraid and tried to kill the child. It didn't work then, and it won't work now. In spite of years of apathy and opposition, the faithful still hear the voice of the Christchild. We hear it in every kind deed and generous act performed in His name. We hear his laughter in every joyful carol and see his smile in every prayer. The voice may be muted, but it has not been silenced!
Over the years I have struggled to see beyond the secular celebration of the winter equinox. I have now learned to silence the commercial voices and blind myself to the mercantile merenaries. And in the silence of my blindness I see and look forward to the new kingdom--to the day when our swords are beaten to plowshares and peace rules in our hearts and in our world. May you share the vision. And may the Joy of Advent be yours.