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A Sign of the times…..It was an unsign for babies to be wrapped in swaddling clothes that was the most normal thing to happen in the middle East in the year Zero… All babies were wrapped in swaddling clothes.
From the beginning of time God has modelled a need for community: beginning with Adam and Eve. Solidarity!
There are times in our personal history and in the history of nations that people imagine we are the person to assume a leadership position. “Nominations from the floor” are asked for at annual meetings or inquiries into why we are acting like the leader we hope will appear. Sometimes people so nominated reply: “WHO ME?” and sometimes they have responded “If nominated, I will not run. If elected I will not serve.”
As I think about this text I am reminded that Before there was TV and ZOOM one of the highlights of entertainment was a parade. My mother loved a parade. Parades accompanied political events, military victories and Thanksgiving Day in NYC. Parades, a time of spectacle, and when the Circus came to town the performers paraded thru the streets as a form of advertisement.
With an excellent mail system, cell phones, texting and reliable travel means, we simply do not experience the need to be watchful in the same way as Jesus tells it. We can be intentionally “left in the dark” but we can also know a great deal about the arrival of friends and relatives as they journey for the holidays or for reunions.
I have just finished watching the 4th season of The Crown a Netflix production focusing on the reign of Elizabeth II – who by the way just celebrated her 73rd anniversary of marriage with Prince Philip. Long live the Queen. Two years ago I spent Thanksgiving in London with my daughter and granddaughter and made sure to visit Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London with all the trappings of royalty like the display of the Crown Jewels.
That reminds me of two men who crashed their private plane on a South Pacific Island. One of the men brushed himself off and proceeded to run all over the island to see if they had any chance of survival. When he returned he rushed up to the other man and screamed, “This island is uninhabited and there is no food or water. We’re going to die!”
An angel appears at a faculty meeting and tells the dean that in return for his unselfish and exemplary behavior, the Lord will reward him with his choice of infinite wealth, wisdom, or beauty.