The day before Thanksgiving we had two new babies born into our family. One to my niece on my wife’s side, one to my niece on my side of the family. It was a great day! Lots of Facebook activity and celebrating and pictures. A wonderful day for rejoicing over the gift of these new lives.
Both children were very healthy. Each mom received the good nutrition we would expect for pregnant women in our country. Both had excellent medical care facilities where they gave birth. It was just as we expect for those of us who live in this part of the world.
And while I’m very grateful for those wonderful gifts, and the multitude of other benefits we have as citizens of this wealthy nation, I am dismayed at times by the fear and unwillingness in some circles to offer even the basics of life to those most in need. This is still true for far too many who live within our borders, but it seems especially true as we allow fear and greed to keep refugees from entering “our” country. I can’t help but wonder what God must think of our behavior. As we bask in the glow of our warm homes and abundance this Advent Season, millions are in need of care around the world. Many refugees need safety, health and hope but instead are finding closed doors and the threat of a lengthier process than the already very lengthy and ineffective process that’s in place.
Scripture is very clear about the responsibility we have as Christ followers to care for the least and most vulnerable among us. Scripture is very clear about the need to risk and even to give up at least a portion of what we have for the benefit of others. In this season when we are preparing to receive again the gift of the Christ who let go of the glory of heaven for our sake, it is a sad state of affairs to see the firm grip with which we are seeking to grasp our own glory.
So may this season of Advent turn us, as individuals and as a nation, toward the goal of welcome and hospitality. May we choose to let go of fear and overcome evil with good. May we share out of our abundance with those in need, down the street and around the world. May we be those who live up to our calling as followers of Christ to love actually and not just in theory.