My heart is heavy and my spirit is weary. There’s so much happening in the world right now. It’s supposed to be the most wonderful time of year, but it doesn’t feel wonderful. The countdown to Christmas is on, but it also feels like in many ways that the world itself is falling apart.
Second, being in the Chicago area, I am saddened by the recent events that are exposing dark side of an agency meant to protect and serve Chicago. I certainly don’t think every law enforcement officer is bad, and in fact I’m sure most of them are good, but it seems like we just keep finding more and more bad apples in the bunch. And not only is it an issue of corruption, but it is also an issue of racism. This is yet another way in which our country is still so deeply divided. Being a part of such a diverse church, I have come to love the diversity of our community and it saddens me that people still judge others primarily on their skin, culture, background, or ethnicity.
On top of those is the continuing debate over refugees. I’ll be honest and say that it saddens me to see the church divided on whether not we are going to help people who are in needed of help. Yes, I know that many argue that there might be dangerous and it might not be safe, but following Jesus is not safe. Around the world people put their lives on the line to following Jesus, and I think welcoming refugees is a lot less dangerous than being a Christian in some of the countries around the world.
All of this is weighing heavily on my heart right now. The coming of Christmas is a bright spot in my outlook on life. I love the yearly reminder of the coming of Christ, but this season of Advent seems a little different for me. I am becoming more aware of the darkness of the world into which Jesus came. Advent is a season of hope and of waiting. We wait for his return to bring light into this dark world. This year the prayer of Advent, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus” is rolling around continually through my mind and in my heart.
O come, O Bright and Morning Star,and bring us comfort from afar!Dispel the shadows of the nightand turn our darkness into light.