here or read it online here.
Everything in our society teaches us to move away from suffering, to
move out of neighborhoods where there is high crime, to move away from
people who don’t look like us.
But the gospel calls us to something
altogether different. We are to laugh at fear, to lean into suffering,
to open ourselves to the stranger.
Advent is the season when we remember
how Jesus put on flesh and moved into the neighborhood. God getting
born in a barn reminds us that God shows up in the most forsaken corners
of the earth.
Wherever we come from, Jesus teaches us that good can
happen where we are, even if real-estate agents and politicians aren’t
interested in our neighborhoods. Jesus comes from Nazareth, a town from
which folks said nothing good could come. He knew suffering from the
moment he entered the world as a baby refugee born in the middle of a
genocide. Jesus knew poverty and pain until he was tortured and executed
on a Roman cross.
This is the Jesus we are called to follow. With his
coming we learn that the most dangerous place for Christians to be is in
comfort and safety, detached from the suffering of others. Places that
are physically safe can be spiritually deadly.