“The sun exists for everyone,” I saw painted on a section of the wall in Bethlehem. “We are all human and only LOVE WINS.”
The “little town” of Jesus’ birth is still a divided place. I read recently* that if Jesus were to be born today, Bethlehem likely would not be where he would come into the world. His family would not have made it past the checkpoints of this now-walled city. This thirty-foot blockade snakes through the region and creates a 21st century rendition of apartheid as Palestinian Christians, Muslims, and Jews are barred from their own land. While the wall is intense, beautiful graffiti on the concrete also evokes colorful calls for change- for justice and reconciliation. There are pleas for love and divine blessing of the whole human family, even those who constructed these walls. These are echoes of the same words of Christ, whose family would be chased out of their native land by the powers that be.
#Advent is a call to lean into the blessing of the incarnation, God with us, which is especially for those most oppressed and marginalized. Yet the complete withness of God in Christ can be hard, especially calls to pray for and bless your enemies and those who perpetuate injustices that block the light of the sun from God’s beloved. I am neither fully sure what this means, nor will I be one to recite this to those deeply wronged by another. All I know is our world continues to be painfully divided and yet the sun does exist for everyone, we are all human, and only love wins. This is the gospel. This is the divine blessing come down at Christmas, from Bethlehem to Coatesville and every complicated place between, beyond, and all around. How might the Spirit awaken you both to receive and extend this blessing to another?
*If interested, reference above comes from a recent devotional by Mitri Raheb of Bright Stars of Bethlehem: https://www.facebook.com/…/a.1245620477…/10157952958042716/…