Sunday, December 02, 2007

What are you waiting for?

The season of Advent is supposed to be a time of waiting and preparing. The hanging of the greens, the placement of wreaths, the lighting of the Advent candles…all of these things invite us to dream dreams of a better world. Advent invites us to hope for a different, a brighter future.

When the prophet Isaiah thought about the advent of God, he envisioned a world committed to peace. In the world of Isaiah’s vision, war was a thing of the past and the nations of the earth and all the creatures that creep upon or below or above the earth and even the mountains and trees lived together in harmony and tranquility.

So, what are you waiting for this December?

For folks like Bill O’Reilly, however, advent is just another time of war. No colored lights on the city’s holiday display is deemed an attack on American values. First it’s white lights and next thing you know we’ll have legalized narcotics, euthanasia, abortion at will, gay marriage.

Yeah, I know what you’re waiting for, Mr. O’Reilly, but what are the Unrulies waiting for?

I envision a world where Arabs and Jews live together in peace. Where blacks and whites in Cincinnati live together with justice. Where women in northern Kentucky no longer have to bare their bodies in order to put food on their children's plates.

What are you waiting for?

I think about a world where there is no longer a need for armies or secret police, no more razor wire and land mines, no need for memos on how to skirt the Geneva Convention, no more Guatanomo Bays… I think about a world where we no longer have to hide the tens of thousands of civilian casualties or black out pictures of teenage soldiers who have lost their legs or arms in car bombings so as not to upset our delicate sensibilities about the horrors of war. I think about a world where we no longer have to wage war to win peace.

What are you waiting for?

I’m waiting for a world where moral values means that the billions of dollars spent on bombs are diverted to feeding, clothing, housing, teaching, healing the peoples of the world. I’m waiting for a world where all our neighbors and every individual is treated as intrinsically precious. Where the vulnerable can leave their doors unlocked without worry. Where ordinary people can walk the streets at night without fear.

What are you waiting for?

I remember Jesus and his way:

He shall judge between nations and arbitrate between many races; they shall beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

What are you waiting for?

During this Advent season as Christians await the coming of our Lord, may our waiting be filled with both calls and prayers for peace in our world and justice for those who suffer the horrors of war.


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