Sunday, November 27, 2016


For Christian traditions that follow the liturgical calendar, today is the first day of Advent.

It's a special time of prayer and reflection that prepares us to celebrate Christmas.

It's a time when we think a lot about why Jesus came into the world. It's a time when we contemplate our belief that humanity's relationship with God became so broken that God had to come to earth physically and be with us for a time. (Think of your mom yelling, "Don't make me come down there!")

This concept of "broken relationship" has been on my mind a lot lately. It sure does seem like something is broken right now. There's something broken in our country. Something broken in families and among friends.

The presidential election demonstrated that so many of us are not on the same page when it comes to values and priorities.

The election demonstrated that some of the things that really bother me are not the same things that bother some of the people I love. And, as something of an OCD control freak, this bothers me!

I'm also troubled by the extent to which I didn't know this chasm existed. I'm troubled by how out of touch I was, not only with millions of other Americans, but out of touch with the true thinking of many of my own family members and friends.

On Wednesday, November 9, in my anger, I unfriended and blocked on Facebook anyone I saw cheering the election of Donald Trump. Family members, childhood friends, high school classmates, longtime political allies, people who attended our wedding. If you voted for Trump, I was done with you.

And, then came good Pope Francis and some of the priests with whom I work, reminding me that I need to forgive and listen sincerely — that I shouldn't oppose the great orange wall-builder by building walls of my own. Ugh.

All of which brings us to the video below from Sojourners. It's a bit on the dramatic side for my taste. But, it's good for thought in this season of discontent and on this first Sunday of Advent 2016: