The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together. Isaiah 40:5
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward all. Luke 2:14
All flesh. What part of "all" don't we get? God's embrace isn't for some flesh, but all flesh. We'll never meet a person whom God doesn't love. And yet we continue to construct walls that divide us--walls built on gender, race, class, religion, sexual orientation, and whatever else that distinguishes us from one another. Advent is a good time to look again at the "walls" that divide us. We can't celebrate the coming of Jesus without letting them crumble. What are these walls for you? Consider some "walls" that, at first, may not be obvious. Isn't tolerance a wall when it's a substitute for respect? Isn't being nice a wall when it's avoidance of difference? Isn't good will a wall when it's limited to conviviality and agreement?
Glory to God is peace on earth, good will toward all--and the angels are not going to take care of it for us. This is not a matter of following rules but of honoring relationships--with strangers as well as kin, with enemies as well as allies. When we honor others as ourselves, then, and only then, can we celebrate Christmas, finding in Jesus the love that welcomes us all, and brings us to our best.
Prayer: "Born all people to deliver, born a child, you came to reign! Born to rule on earth forever, come, be known to us again." Amen.