A profound experience sharing prayer, food, and community with our Muslim friends at Northwest Islamic Community Center. 21 MO members served Iftar, a celebratory meal breaking the fast during Ramadan. We didn't expect the grace revealed in an envelope at the end of the night.
There is something about this season of Advent that reveals the darkness and despair of our time. In the barrage of consumerism, there is still such need for families to have basic things like safe housing, food and clothing. Depression, loneliness and grief are heightened as memories of what has been flood back and expectations for what should be creep in.
Joel 2:12-13, 28-29 - In these verses, Joel doesn’t speak of God’s need for us to live up to the grand promises we make to God. Instead, he speaks about God’s longing to dwell with us right where we are, in the complexities and pains and broken hopes and regrets of our lives. “Rend your hearts and not your clothing,” God says through Joel. All God requires of us is what life eventually makes in us: a broken heart.
Power, evil and manipulation are real. They fester in insecurity and fearfully within groups. We see it like graffiti all over religious and political history and on bathroom walls. Yet, the promise we find in this story is that in the midst of this mounting power of the world, God enters with a different kind of power, one that is quiet and hidden.