I’m working my way through a daily devotional. This is the second entry. Find more posts under the tag: “Inviting God In.”
Do not fear, O Zion; do not let your hands grow weak. The Lord, your God, is in your midst. Zephaniah 3:16-17
The heading of this post matches the heading of the day’s devotional but the verse doesn’t seem related. What does Joyce Rupp write to fit these two seemingly unrelated things?
She’s brings up the purpose of Advent. Surprisingly, the point of Advent is not to force feed yourself one shitty chocolate a day from a cheap Advent calendar Mom bought at Walmart. (There are beer ones these days and tea ones and wine ones for us grown ups. Pricier, but arguably better.)
The point is to focus on God’s “nearness,” she writes, as she thinks about those around her.
I also need to be mindful of how God is present in those who have very little joy because of their physical or mental condition, financial deprivation or the violence of their political situation. It is here that I meet the suffering of Christ.
And what’s the word.. compartmentalization? No, I think I mean something else. A virtual cookie to whoever explains this thought process.
Telling these people (or at least believing) that God is with them but, in that Mother Teresa kind of way? The way where God doesn’t actively work within this world to improve their well being and instead they’re expected and encouraged to suffer? Like Christ supposedly did? Is knowing that supposed to make people feel better? Does it? Or would they rather see medical advancements, better medicine, more safety nets for low income families and less fighting over dogma and political/capitalistic reasons?
Excessive attention to material things lessens my bond with God.
Do we really need to remind her here that human beings are not the same as fancy chairs and cans of soda pop? The “thoughts and prayers” approach to dealing with other people’s problems should rank an F on anyone’s compassion report card. Donate your money (not to the Salvation Army), your time, your food. Support politicians who promote all the values you value in terms of human rights. If you can’t find one, maybe consider becoming one.
(I confess as a minion I don’t do remotely enough to help people – donations to Community Living and the Diabetes Association wind up being all I manage. Sigh.)
Next time, reader heal thyself!