Whether it is an earthquake, flood, famine, terrorism or some other cause of death and destruction for numbers of people, the most common responses in social media and from political offices contain the phrase, “thoughts and prayers”. So over used and hypocritically stated are “thoughts and prayers” that many are reacting negatively to the phrase claiming it is a trite excuse for not even trying to help, and an insult to the victims. Most recently in Texas when 26 church attenders were killed by a heavily armed man, it seems pathetic, to say the least, that US legislators were only willing to send “thoughts and prayers” when they have the power to control the sale of guns and won’t. It is lame as well for those of us who have the resources send “thoughts and prayers” instead of a donation, or a visit where needed and possible, or to stand with victims in public protest. I have nothing against “thoughts and prayers” but too often they could lead to some kind of action . . . . . and don’t.
The end of November brings not only the Grey Cup but also the end of the Season of Creation and the end of the church year. December brings a new church year with Advent and Christmas, and an opportunity to contemplate the meaning of those seasons from a faith point of view. Through Advent the excitement builds. God is going to do something new with Creation. Most don’t believe in a clockmaker God who started creation running and then left the scene, even though we can expect at times to rightly feel abandoned by God. Christmas is about the idea that God not only cares about creation and its fulfillment but actively and creatively engages an on-going, always unfolding creation ultimately leading to restoration and reconciliation. In the cry of a newborn infant we can hear the voice of a God that does more than send “thoughts and prayers”, an engaged voice calling us to be the hands and feet of God moving us into right relation with all creation.
This Sunday at Living Spirit United you are invited to “Dig Deeper” as we worship together and explore that call. Can our own talents and Christmas be more than “thoughts and prayers”? Something to think and pray about!