By this time of the year most of us have inundated by Christmas stuff. Shopping, cards, decorations. I see these houses with so many lights and do-dads that you can hardly get in the front door. I don’t think even Santa will be able to navigate through all those lights. Christmas is not presents nor cakes nor chestnuts roasting on an open fire or even family members coming from all over. Christmas is not even church services where we all go to enormous lengths to say "ta-da" to this holy time. I love all these things, but they aren’t the real Christmas.
In my lectionary column on Luke 2:1-4, I focus on the theme of hope. Whenever I think about hope, I remember the story of Rabbi Hugo Gryn. He was the senior rabbi at the West London Synagogue when he died almost ten years ago.
Several years ago the Centuryinterviewed Sandra Steingraber and reviewed her most recent book, Raising Elijah. Now, after six years of scientifically informed activism, Steingraber and others are celebrating in New York state, where Wednesday Governor Andrew Cuomo
I was visiting a 90-something-year-old who had just asked how things were going. I admitted I had too much on my plate and felt overwhelmed by it at that moment. She said, “I can’t remember the last time I was overwhelmed.” I was annoyed and ungenerous in my heart.
Christ came to bring God’s kingdom to bear on earth. As people who follow the risen Christ, we cannot faithfully live into his kingdom when we are silent about those who are marginalized in our midst. Our leaders need to curate conversations about race and reconciliation. As people of God we must extend ourselves in risky ways to begin to break down the “other-ness” that exists between races in the larger body of Christ.
This week, at a refurbished camp for oil and gas workers, the Department of Homeland Security officially opened a new detention center for women and children who cross the southern U.S. border. In DHS director Jeh Johnson’s view, this is a move to prevent people from crossing the border at all. He wants to stem the tide of “illegal migration,” and he believes that detention is one means to do so. “Frankly, we want to send a message that our border is not open to illegal migration, and if you come here, you should not expect to simply be released,” said Johnson.