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December Wheel 2019 Newsletter

BY: Brenda Menendez0 COMMENTS CATEGORY: Newsletter

Dear People of St. Catherine’s,

By all accounts we are living in a time of fading hopes.  All the surveys suggest that current generations of young people have little hope of living as well as their parents.  The great hope that swept the world at the fall of the Berlin Wall has crumbled into the reign of corrupt plutocracies and the fragmenting of the world – renewed tribalism and a retreat from global wellbeing.

The contention of our last presidential election, the fraying of established institutions of governance, education, social services, and the deep polarization of our media and views of the world don’t seem to offer much hope.  Among segments of our society, life expectancies have gone down!  Even if we at St. Catherine’s don’t see them daily, the abuse of opioids, alcohol, depression and cynicism are rampant.  Where is there cause for hope?

So we come to Advent, to the return of our year of Christian life and all we hear are canticles of hope.  During this entire season we are washed over by the great canticles of Isaiah, seemingly counterintuitive to all we see every day.  We are told of a time when

“they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nations shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” 

Doesn’t sound real.

How about,

“the wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.” 

How different from the rhetoric of “winning” and the constant bullying, humiliation, intimidating that is the currency of public discourse so much these days!

Yes, climate change is real.  So in a world of melting glaciers, severe droughts, rising seawaters, raging fires, and worsening storms – how can we believe that

“waters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert.” 

How, indeed.

Finally, we come to church on the last Sunday of Advent and hear that

“God himself will give you a sign.” 

Only the sign is not garish, not hoisted on trade wars or false promises.  It is God’s way to show the sign to those who believe.  It is God’s way to bring hope to the world by showing up as a wet and wiggling child, bawling in the dusty shadows of a barn, held by his mother, protected by his father, and adored by the lowly of the earth.

The things that erode our hope are trenchant and sinewy in their seduction.  The reasons we feel less hope are vast and powerful.  But if we want to push back, to live with hope in a world that feels hopeless, we only need to assemble together to hear Isaiah’s promises, to sing the great songs of hope, to be fed at the table of hope, and to go to the world with hope on our lips and expectation in our hearts. In spite of all you see, that is possible.  It is our hope.

With great hope in the promises of God,

Allen W. Farabee, Interim Rector

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