There is so much unfolding in our world. Our national election has had an impact on us as a people that we have not seen in decades. Our Neighborhood Center family has been touched by the sudden, unexpected death of Sr. Magdalena Kellner. Magdalena volunteered daily for over 15 years serving as the secretary of the Counseling department, but doing so much more for us. We grieve her loss.
We celebrate the retirement of Julie Ruggiero after 15 years of creating our state-of-the art dental facility. Julie is off to grandmother duties, and we miss her terribly. Thank you, Julie, for almost single-handedly building our dental services.
Many, many more things have impacted us deeply. We find ourselves looking for even ground on which to get our bearings. Of course, that even ground is found by placing our trust in our God, and understanding that our world is filled with grace, and that grace comes through those we are with every day.
As we enter the Christian Advent season leading to Christmas, we pray for you and your families; for all our patients and clients who give us much more than they receive; we pray for world leaders that they may lead with insight and compassion.
Our gift to you is the following reflection on God’s kingdom come to fullness…
God’s spirit will let a white man or woman look into the eyes of a black man or woman and see their soul; it will let a black man or woman look into the eyes of a white man or woman and see their soul. And they’ll both know it’s the soul of another human.
God’s spirit will call the people from the East to join hands with the people from the West, and the people from the North to join hands with the people from the South and all will seek the other’s good. None will smite his brother or sister, nor deal deceit-fully. They will sing at their labors, and be thankful for the fruits of the fields and factories. Their soldiers will learn the arts of peace; their strong ones the ways of service. All will be spared the degradation of making implements of war and the agonizing orders to use them.
God’s spirit will join an old person’s wisdom with a young person’s strength and they will be partners for God. They will respect one another, and will be slow to take offense and quick to forgive. They will be as parent and child. The old will be filled with compassion and understanding, and the young with gentleness and loving concern. They will find joy in bearing one another’s burdens.
God’s spirit will give eyes to humankind with which to see the glory of God. God’s spirit will give ears to humankind to hear the sound of God’s trumpet as well as God’s still, small voice. God will dwell with us and be our God, and we shall be God’s people. God will wipe away our tears, dispel our doubt, remove our fears . . . and usher in the acceptable year.
Clarence Jordan, The Substance of Faith and Other Cotton Patch Sermons
— Christine Wagner, SSJ