Our Conspiracy of Love Can Stop Weeping and Wailing

12/17/2010

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Blessed Epiphany. The focus of the January 2011 issue of The Current, as you know, is in part a year- end review for 2010. It is breath taking to review where we have been and exhilarating to think about where we are going. And speaking of where we are going there is significant emphasis in this issue on Imagine No Malaria.

You will recall in my Episcopal Address at the 2010 Annual Conference I announced that I was inviting you to join me in the effort to raise at least $2.3 million for this effort to eliminate deaths from malaria by 2015. I am pleased to report that everyday more and more of the pieces are falling into place and more folks are coming online in this huge and worthy endeavor. Lots of the work of this campaign will take place in the districts.
 
As I thought about Imagine No Malaria and this season of the year I have been spending time in Matthew’s gospel, particularly Matthew 2:13-23. Please take a moment and read this passage. Standing almost in opposition to the warm feeling we get of joining the wise men at the manger and the giving of their gifts to the Christ child is the horrifying image of the despot Herod and the “slaughter of the innocents”. But is there and we must deal with the meaning of the tension created by this picture.
 
Pastor Pam Fickenscher ( a Lutheran pastor) has commented on this text saying “we do not live in a peaceful snow globe; we live in a world where children die and mothers grieve – not just occasionally, but every day, not just in hospitals but on city streets and mud huts”. For some in our world, and I think here especially of those who live with the reality and pain of malaria especially children under five, “the sounds of Rachel weeping for her children are not uncommon”.
 
Together you and I in an enormous conspiracy of love in action can stop Rachel’s weeping and wailing. So this year when I come to the manger and look upon Mary, Joseph and the Christ child I will also be thinking about all the other mothers, fathers and vulnerable children whose lives we can make a life affirming.