A back story to our work this year is encouragement to see Peace and Security as parallel realities. Our current world tends to separate them so a focus on Peace leaves us insecure and an emphasis upon Security keeps us from hope or trust.
For Jerusalem to be Jeru-Salem these issues of Peace and Security need, as the Psalmist says, to be "bound firmly together." Isaiah is clear that the light of the Lord will lead us to finding Security only in the Peace of swords turned to plowshares and Peace only in the Security of the whole and not just our part.
Matthew has an intriguing image follow after examples of usual places of togetherness --around table and in "marriage". Togetherness is swept away when we divide ourselves up - in the midst of everyday life, one is taken way and one is left behind. We are usually told this is about a second-coming and judgment day but it makes as much sense to consider this behavior as the result of our choosing sides against one another or allowing our house to be broken into by dividing Peace and Security.
Judgment against our current divisions is already evident and we are encouraged to work against our desires for privilege and exemption from common work alongside one another.
As the rich get richer and the poor poorer, as some earn their keep through interest from money and others provide for themselves by their labor, we loose the bonds of two becoming one and find two dividing into two.
Advent places before us a choice for a different future where, instead of being separated from the world by an attempt at renewal, Noah-style, two by two, we are ready to set aside separation and quarreling to respond to a call from our descendents, Children-of-human-style, to, one by one, rebind Peace and Security.
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May peace be our life
among family, friend, stranger, enemy.
May security be our heart
among our common house and common good.
May these gifts give light on our way
among ancestral dreams and coming hope.