As we move through the first week of Advent, Bishop Ward presents this question to us – “What does it mean for each of us to be a voice for God?”
During Advent, follow the evening prayers prepared by the Conference Board of Church & Society.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
As we move forward in this Holy Season of Advent, our gaze is upon John the Baptizer. John came from the wilderness to proclaim the way of the Lord, make God’s path straight. He was a voice crying in the wilderness.
Sue Monk Kidd in her imaginative novel “The Book of Longings” creates a character, Anna. Anna is a young woman in Galilee and she hears and sees John the Baptist, and she asks herself the probing question, “What would it mean for me to say those words? What would it mean for me to be a voice for God?” This, my friends, is also the probing question to us in this Holy Season.
Tomorrow night [Wednesday, Dec. 2, 5:30 p.m.], I invite you to a time of worship and inspiration and remembrance. This is the 40th year since the murder, in March of 1980, of Bishop Oscar Romero in San Salvador. He was leading worship when he was gunned down behind the communion table. Then in December, on Dec. 2, four churchwomen were abducted at the airport in San Salvador and brutally murdered – Jean, Dorothy, Ita, and Maura. These five are examples among us of voices crying in the wilderness, preparing the way of the Lord. They were teachers and preachers; they were pastors and friends. They were prophets. They worked to help the homeless find shelter. They worked for the hungry to find food. They worked for justice and offered mercy. They worked in response to hurricanes and floods in the rivers of the region and they were God’s faithful servants. Ita even was swept away by a raging river as she worked among people impacted by a hurricane.
Together, as we worship, we will be drawn closer to Christ and we will be inspired to live with that probing question, “What does it mean for each of us to be a voice, a voice for God?”
Saint Romero said that his proclamation was one great reminder that God loves us, that God wants to save us. This my friends is the message of this Holy Season. As we light candles, let us draw near to Christ the Light.
May the peace of Christ be with you this day.