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Into the Turbulence of 2015, Christ Comes, Uninvited

December 20, 2015

Christ in the Breadline. By artist Fritz Eichenberg.

December 21, 2015:  Today I was struck by these Advent words in the Liturgy of the Hours:  “There is no need to be afraid; in five days our Lord will come to us.”

Our Lord is coming, in just five days.  So powerfully simple.  So wonderfully reassuring.  How much we need the Lord to come to us and reveal to us the way!

Yet what time is the Lord coming into, here and now, in 2015?  A Washington Post writer recently named the time this way:

My first full year as a citizen of the United States was also the year Donald Trump made nativism a viable political project. It was the year college activists battled racism with their own peculiar intolerance. It was the year Rachel Dolezal was redefined, Atticus Finch rewritten, Caitlyn Jenner revealed. It was the year police shootings became viral, mass shootings became daily and same-sex marriage became law. It was a year America did little else, it seemed, than fight over values, identity, premises.

It’s exhausting, being American. Seriously, do you folks do this every year?

Add to this the year ISIS became a global acronym, migrant became a contested household word across the world, and once-peaceful Burundi stood on the verge of vast violence just 20 years after genocide.

How does the Lord come to us here and now, in 2015, in a year so full of turbulence?

That question brought to my mind the words of Thomas Merton.

“Into this world,
this demented inn,
in which there is absolutely no room for him at all,
Christ has come uninvited.
But because he cannot be at home in it,
because he is out of place in it,
and yet he must be in it,
his place is with those others for whom there is no room.
His place is with those who do not belong,
who are rejected by power because they are regarded as weak,
those who are discredited,
who are denied the status of persons,
With those for whom there is no room,
Christ is present in this world.”

He has come for all of us, every one of us, the whole world.  The question is, where will we find him?  In these turbulent times, are we ready to find and receive this Lord?

The Lord will be here very soon, right into the here and now.  This is the most wonderful news.  And there is no need to be afraid.

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