Thursday, December 14, 2017

J.K. Rowling Makes Me Go to My Bookshelf

And it turns out to be about Advent!

U.P.I Oklahoma City
Guess what?
A baby was born on a downtown sidewalk
In the snow,
While people hurried on by
All alone.
Except for the disinterested glance of
     A taxicab driver.
     A politician.
     A salesman.
     And a few hundred other people.
All alone.
A mother screaming for help
A newborn infant shivering in the cold,
And an unnoticed star appearing in the West.
Over Oklahoma City.
In the U.S.A.
In the Western Hemisphere.
In the Universe.
In the mind of God.
The Magi.
Wise Men.
Pacing back and forth.

For an astronaut to return from outer space with a very funny story.  The funny story goes like this:

The astronaut has been out in space.
And everyone is waiting for his report on
  whether or not he has seen God.  Now
  this is the funny part.  Hold on now.
  Here's the punch line.
He returns.
And he has seen God.
And they ask him to describe God.
And he says:  (This is it!)
"God--she's a Negro!"

You see why it's funny, don't you?
She's black.

excerpt from "Noel--The Lone Ranger," The Way of the Wolf, by Martin Bell.  Seabury Press, 1968.


  1. Last year I followed #Fuckthisshit for daily advent readings. This year is slightly toned down with #shutthehellup as the tag for the advent readings. The Alabama senate race made for an advent devotional there too, based on Psalm 126:6.
    Those who cry
    as they carry out the seeds
    will return singing
    and carrying bundles of grain.

    Advent Day 12

    The part that jumped out to me was "As much as I want to believe the promises written in the Psalm are true, I also know that those who cry as they carry the seeds don’t often return with bundles of grain. Because the bundles are stolen from them, and they’re sent back to fields to sow some more. Yes, I know the whole faith was pretty much founded on sacrifice and martyrdom. We’re supposed to be like Jesus, and Jesus hung himself on a cross. But if that’s what we boil the faith down to, it turns into a masochistic machine of torment, where we demand pain and suffering from those we lionize." and "We’re not all doing the work. White people are reaping where we do not sow. The tears from the Psalm won’t be joyful until we are ALL doing the work, and making sure ALL are bringing back bundles of grain."

    Sunday one of the readings was Isaiah 40:1-11, which includes:
    A voice of one calling:
    “In the wilderness prepare
    the way for the Lord[a];
    make straight in the desert
    a highway for our God.[b]
    4 Every valley shall be raised up,
    every mountain and hill made low;
    the rough ground shall become level,
    the rugged places a plain.
    5 And the glory of the Lord will be revealed,
    and all people will see it together.
    For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

    The sermon talked about our preparing the way. 20 million without health insurance is a mountain that needs to be leveled if we want to prepare the way, the hungry and the naked are valleys that need to be filled to prepare the way. A call for justice to prepare that way. Jesus won't bring it, we are called to make it happen.

    So my advent devotional today, "Why do I expect others to carry the water? Why am I not carrying the water? Why am I not preparing the way for the coming this Advent?

    Peace be with you.

  2. It's a worthy Advent meditation: the herald proclaimed by Isaiah was John, according to the gospels. And John was human, not divine; yet John was sent to prepare the highway through the wilderness.

    God had a pretty clear lesson for us there, no?