The following is taken from Ft. Richard Rohr’s “Preparing for Christmas” Daily Meditations for Advent for the Third Sunday of Advent (which is this coming Sunday) and very relevant to our upcoming Sunday lesson. It is entitled: Related in Spirit, and begins:
The spirit always connects, reconciles, forgives, heals, and makes two into one. It moves beyond human-made boundaries to utterly realign and renew that which is separated and alienated.
Rohr notes that Jesus used a scripture from Isaiah (61:1) to announce the exact nature of his own ministry:
‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’ Luke (4:18-19)
Jesus is announcing that his work is NOT about gathering “the so-called good into a private country club…” but rather, about “moving outside of polite and proper limits and boundaries to reunite things that have been marginalized or excluded by society: the poor, the imprisoned, the blind, the downtrodden.…To reach out to those on the edge and on the bottom, those who are “last” – to tell them, they are, in fact, first!”
And isn’t that the true meaning of Love? To bring together, forgive, include and enjoy? The more we can fill our Christmas preparation time (and all of our lives for that matter) with healing, reconciliation, and outreach to those our society tends to marginalize and forget, the more we are living in and expressing as Spirit, and the more we are embodying the true meaning of Christmas.