Wednesday, December 20, 2017
Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents, so that I will not come and strike the land with a curse. Malachi 4.5-6
A Word of Hope
Today is International Solidarity Day. A United Nations holiday, this is:
- a day to celebrate our unity in diversity;
- a day to remind governments to respect their commitments to international agreements;
- a day to raise public awareness of the importance of solidarity;
- a day to encourage debate on the ways to promote solidarity for the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals including poverty eradication;
- a day of action to encourage new initiatives for poverty eradication.
When I read the passage from Malachi and then read the description of International Solidarity Day, I was struck by the similarity and the difference. Both speak of coming together. Malachi speaks of parents and children turning to each other. International Solidarity Day speaks to all peoples turning to each other.
But the difference is striking. Malachi says that God will send Elijah who will bring this solidarity to the parents and children of Israel. This is an external force working on the people. God has to send a messenger to bring this about.
The United Nations description of International Solidarity Day celebrates unity in diversity. It speaks of people reminding government to respect agreements, and encourage all peoples to honor and celebrate and work for solidarity.
This difference is for me very illustrative of the change brought by Jesus. The law of Moses is no longer imposed in fear and by firebrand prophets. It is planted in the heart, it comes when we die to our old selves and are reborn in Jesus. It is internal; growing from within; expanding out to our fellow people. We celebrate diversity because we see the Christ in each person just as we see Jesus living as a person.
Loving God we thank you for the differences between us. We celebrate ourselves and our sisters and brothers as being part of the human family that carries the breath of life and the Christ within. Be with all of us, and turn our hearts to each other so that we can see you and your Christ in each other.
Weber Baker, Order of St. Francis and St. Clare