Christmas 1 – Year A
It is not just Matthew's community that wants to have current events connected with their past. This is a very human condition. While asking what Matthew's story of Jesus would be like without the constant refrain about fulfillment of past pronouncements, it is important to ask about what similar constraints we are using in our own day. How constrained we are by political and religious and economic touchstones. Should G*D simply desire to do a new thing, it appears G*D past is stronger than G*D's present. As folks in G*D's image this seems true for us as well.
Meanwhile, back at the gospel, what would make the political death of Jesus as an infant any more or less meaningful than his death on a political cross? Isn't political death a killing that is going on everyday and aren't saintly, innocent, prophetic lives regularly extinguished? Voices of Ramah can be heard on the nightly news. They have become the background against which see, hear, and touch the barriers to their mobilizing power. We are exiled from ourselves and one another under the banner of, "this is just the way it is, who can do anything?"
Apparently Magi don't make a transformative community. They are precursors of Peter as they go back another way and do an act of denial. Apparently a solidarity of bereaved mothers don't make a transformative community. They raise their voices in grief, but glimpse no new life, only an old life repeated. Apparently Mary and Joseph and Angels don't make a transformative community. They are able to play defense and keep one of out a thousand safe, just as some were able to protect some while various genocides proceeded.
May your dreams be strong enough to be followed all the way to founding a transformative community where you are or finding one already going in which you might participate. Another way to put this is to find your home where G*D's desires for you and for all, through you, might be fulfilled.
This is a challenge most difficult, regardless of whether you are one who runs away, one who sits and mourns, or one who comes back from exile in a passive manner to survive underground. Whatever your current state-of-affairs, may you see your life filled and your life fulfilled. In so being, you will hear angels and speak angelically. Finally, having traveled away with the Magi, to Egypt, to Ramah, to Nazareth, you will see your burning bush, hear belovedness in baptismal waters, and rise to life in this life.