2nd Sunday Advent 2014-A New Heavens and A New Earth!

2nd Sunday Advent 2014 Year B

What we await are a new heavens and a new earth where, according to the promise, God’s justice will reside.  So beloved, while waiting for this, make every effort to be found at peace… (second reading: 2 Ptr 3: 8-45)

I think we must admit, these past few weeks have been anything but peaceful….

From Ferguson Missouri, to NYC, NY to Cleveland, Ohio, from Yemen to Afghanistan, we seem in many ways to be a people at war….with ourselves and with each other.

If you remember last week, I invited us to look at Advent in a new way…from a different paradigm, with a different set of lenses…

How can we be Church in this world in a new way…

How can we risk believing in the Gospel, the Good News unless we are willing to risk believing that it might actually be possible?

The owner of ClockWork, the tech company in Minneapolis who made Fortune magazines top 10 list of most desirable  companies to work for is just one business example of what I am encouraging us to consider as 21st Century Christians.

You see my friends, we can protest about gun violence, and protest about police overstepping boundaries, and we can preach about racism, sexism and any other injustice in our world.  But will that change anything…..will it really change who we are and how we think?

I invited us to pray that powerful prayer….God grant me the serenity….

And  this week I had the opportunity to sit, in silence with my buddhist friends, and as we sat, simply, no words, no music, no thing…I was struck by a real change…a real paradigm shift.

We may not need more laws telling cops when they can shoot and who….we may not need more laws or policies about how many times someone needs to be instructed about proper behavior or protocol on how to handle someone dealing with homelessness or addiction…..

What we may need, it to ask ourselves the question why do our police officers feel so threatened and scared for their lives that they feel the need to discharge their weapon?  We may need to ask ourselves, why in the richest nation on earth, is their anyone who is hungry?  We may need to ask ourselves, how we can lessen the negative impact our consumption of paper might benefit the next generation and maybe even the existence of our planet?

If a new heavens and a new earth are possible…and I believe they are…and I believe the Gospel and all our Scriptures point to it as well…then I am willing to risk saying that we too can be a people who can live and do live being Church in a different way.

It will mean asking ourselves some really deep and really profound questions, and sometimes those questions will push our limits….but that’s what any paradigm shift does.  Changing perspective, means changing ourselves.

Are we willing to risk believing the the Gospel, the Good News?  I believe we are…I hope you do as well!

So this week, when the media shows the protests, or they tv shows all the violence, maybe we can stop long enough to ask ourselves the question of what is really underneath it all and then do something…a letter, a note, an email, a phone call…that starts to attack the injustice…even if it is just in our own little part of the world…because if we would all do it….what would result is precisely the message of our Scriptures tonight….a new heavens and a new earth, where justice reigns!

You know all that any of us really want or need for our Spirits to thrive is to know that our lives really do make a difference in and to the world.

It’s that simple and that profound.

You matter, and I matter, and even those whom we struggle to encounter do matter, how can we let them know that?


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