Not here we said.
But it is here
and it is now.
Wealth so repulsive, unethical, self-serving
Built on the backs of the hungry, the hurting, the oppressed,
the left out and left behind.
Power so arrogant as to despise kindness and human dignity.
We need a little Christmas right this very minute
We need a vision of the beauty in creation
the ethic of vulnerability
the power of love.
We need a story that emerges in the midst of
an oppressive state
We need a story of perseverance
Right over might
Love over hate
Goodness over evil
Truth over lies.
America is built on ideas that are important to hold on to and that many have forgotten. We are built on ideas that require a strong commitment to diversity, to a free press and undiluted truth. Assumed in our constitution, in all our founding documents is the idea that we will remain in dialogue. That respect for one another grounds us in a way of being. That relationship is necessary and disagreement is always in context of relationship. The concept of the ‘loyal opposition’ assumes we all seek the greater good for the nation.
We have lost that relationship. Lost it because, in no small part, the right is now so radicalized (see: Tea Party, white supremacists) that finding ‘a third way’ is no longer the goal. All or nothing is the goal. It has rent us in two.
So when I, as a pastor, say ‘we need a little Christmas’ I mean we need to remember the source of our faith journey. It begins in poverty, it values the outsider (moral, cultural, racial, etc) and it overcomes oppression, hate, and fear with love. Our story invites us to a kind of love that infuses a deep sense of self worth, the courage to resist, and the willingness to sacrifice.
Now the rubber meets the road. We must live into ideas greater than ourselves and our own self-interest. For my fellow Christians, this season I urge us to embrace our story of hope, power, and promise. And let us honor faith traditions other than our own who journey beside us as they uniquely express the love of God.
The story of this nation isn’t over.
The story of the incarnation isn’t over.
It is just beginning.
Our hope is being born in the muck,
in the stench of poverty
in the belly of the oppressive beast.
We must allow hope to be born in us
with power and passion
for the facing of this hour.