Saturday, December 20, 2008

Arriving in the Snow

"The one with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same." Luke 3:11

Yesterday I had planned to go pick up our daughter Phoebe at college, but with the impending snow we made alternative plans. The train stops in Saratoga Springs twice a day going to New York, so we booked her on the morning train. It was early evening by the time she got home, getting a local train out of Penn Station. As I waited for her at our local station, I could only think about getting her home and into the warmth - out of the storm. She arrived safe and our brief drive home was treacherous because nothing had been cleared. But safe home she was, finally. And I thought about all of the people who have no safe home, no shelter from the storm, no place to rest their head that is dry, warm and safe.

John the Baptist, when asked what should be done to prepare for the coming of Jesus, suggests that we who have, share. Simple. Share the food and the warmth. This is Advent preparation that should last all year. Mary and Joseph had no room, they were travelers without a safe home. They lived, not only on the trip to Bethlehem, but also the sojourn in Egypt, as the homeless, wanderers, who have to struggle to eat and be clothed. Share with others in need John says. Simple and yet we have such need around us which daily goes unseen, and which never gets any response. And yet, in sharing with the homeless wanderers we share with the family of God.

Today, I want to be grateful for a warm and safe home. And I want to share what I have with those who do not. For indeed, like Joseph, Mary and Jesus, they are homeless wanderers, refugees seeking asylum for a time, laborers who left home to keep the child safe. For the needs of others are the needs of Christ Jesus and his family. May we all today see the need in our midst and respond to it. May we welcome those who are without as family and friends. And may we know together, we all belong to the family of Jesus as we share our food and clothing with others.

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