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Advent 4 - All Earth Is Hopeful
We first saw Jesus a baby in a crib.
This same Lord Jesus today has come to live in our world;
he is present, in neighbors we see
Our Jesus is with us, and ever sets us free.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer writes –
“If we want to be part of these events, Advent and Christmas, we cannot just sit there like a theater audience and enjoy all the lovely pictures…we must become actors on this stage…each spectator has a part to play, and we cannot hold back.”

Who are we in this story?

Mary – trusting God, willing to say, “let it be according to your will”?

An Innkeeper – no room here for this Jesus stuff.

Herod – filled with fear, clinging to power and status?

The shepherds – essential workers too often marginalized socially and economically?

The Magi – charting a new way that resists conspiracy theories and schemes?

Or perhaps we wonder – what difference does Christmas make?

Who are we in this familiar story?

I believe we are meant to be changed by Advent and Christmas. I believe it matters that God became human in a stable. I believe it matters that God - Immanuel - comes to you and to me in the midst of our messy, broken, upended lives and says –“You are not alone. I love you – yes, YOU!”

Stir up your power, Lord Jesus and come. Come, open our hearts and lives to receive the gift of your love. Amen.