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At the turn of the year, a call for somber reflection

At the turn of the year, a call for somber reflection

In the Huffington Post, Dr. Cindi Love reflects on the changeover into a new Christian year. She compares what Christians are supposed to do and be in the world with how they are perceived, and she laments the difference.

As Advent begins and the church celebrates history turning upside down in the Incarnation of Christ, we Christians have an extraordinary chance to confess our own responsibility as a people commissioned to “love the Lord your God with all your heart” and to “love your neighbor as yourself.”

These admonitions are repeated in other faith traditions as well, but for today, I am focused only on the tradition that raised me because I am deeply concerned about our future. I sat at lunch last week with a large group of Christians and the topics of conversation were painful — there were more people and groups castigated over sushi than the choices on the menu. Poor people on welfare, people addicted to substances, unwed mothers, gay people, young people in the Occupy movement and “liberals” were bashed and summarily dismissed. I came away from that gathering really sad because I think the people who were charged by Christ to find the lost are lost….

Sadly, the world is experiencing many of us who profess Christ as having hands that are no longer safe to grasp. Some of us Christians coquettishly take the hand of a person drowning or slipping from a perch and jerk them into a horror chamber of shame and blame or let go just when safe landing seems reachable. Perhaps worse, some of us never extend a hand at all….

Perhaps this Advent can bring revolution within the Christian church — to inspire us to use our power and privilege to heal and not to harm, to help and not to hinder, to bless and not to curse. May we learn to see things backwards, inside out, and upside down. May we understand that the line separating good and evil passes, not through parties, states, not between classes, not between those considered sinners and those who consider themselves “better,” but the line separating good and evil passes right through human hearts (Alexander Solzhenitsyn).

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