Rev. Dr. Violet Lee
– Bill Clinton
Yes, the Advent themes come to us, once again, as a reminder of the need for a Savior. In this season, it becomes clearer and clearer how far we have missed the mark, individually and collectively. Nearly twenty years ago, President William Jefferson Clinton penned this message imploring us as citizens of the United States of America to commit to building a future together—a wholesome, loving, and peaceful future. His words remind me of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s Speech, “I Have a Dream…” King wrote, “Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy.” Instead, this year, as we approach Christmas 2017, let us proclaim with a resounding voice, “Now is the time to make real the promises of Christmas.” Too often we have mistaken the role of government with the role of the Church. Notwithstanding the Separation of Church and State, the faithful, compassionate, and empathic elected officials, even in our nation’s highest office remind us, the present day disciples of Christ, the task is ours to help others see and feel Christ, in this nation and beyond, as we experience the anticipation of his birth.
It was as if Bill Clinton had King’s message in mind when he wrote this. Or perhaps, the message of Jesus? Either way, all of these messages have at the core, the central theme of togetherness, in addition to love, peace, joy, and hope. In this sense, “hope does not disappoint us” (Romans 5:5). Despite the recent occurrences of natural disasters in the way of devastating hurricanes and raging fires, we place our hope in the birth of a Savior. Despite the senseless gun violence claiming the lives of men, women, and children gathered to hear music in a Las Vegas Stadium or for worship in Sutherland’s First Baptist Church, the need is still there to spread more love, peace, joy, and hope until all have realized the freedom and prosperity that the birth of Jesus brings.
Prayer: Loving Lord, teach us to live in harmony. Help us, O Savior, to genuinely love in a way that shows others your peace, joy, and hope. In the name of the Prince of Peace we offer this prayer with thanksgiving in our hearts. Amen.