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Waiting for News, Waiting for Change
[Editor's note: This Advent season, we will be running a series of reflections on the Bread Blog from the San Francisco Theological Seminary. The reading for this post is Isaiah 52:7-10. Keep reading Bread Blog for more Advent reflections.]
By Dori Kay Hjalmarson
How beautiful is the messenger who brings the gospel. Who is the messenger in our Christian nativity story? John, the son of Elizabeth, who comes before to announce the Christ. The angel Gabriel, who brings the message to Mary, blessed among women. Mary herself, the literal bearer of good news. The starlight dancing on the mountains, leading shepherds and magi to the birthplace.
In our Christmas carols, we ourselves are the bearers of the news: "Go tell it on the mountain, over the hills and everywhere! Go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born!" Later on in the Christian story, the apostle Paul will write of the gospel—of Christ, Immanuel—as both the message and the messenger. The news the messenger brings is not just notice of peace, but peace itself. The message has transformative, blessing power.
We know of moments like this in our own lives. Moments when knowledge touches not only our minds but our hearts and very bodies. They are moments of sickening tragedy, when we learn of the death of dozens of innocents in a senseless school shooting. They are moments of tender care, when our sister or brother comes out of the closet and the life of our family is never the same. They are moments of empowered solidarity, when a marginalized group stands up and proclaims justice and peace. They are moments of soaring joy, when the news of a baby's birth, long awaited, changes the world, and hope enters in.
Dori Kay Hjalmarson is a San Francisco Theological Seminary master of divinity student.
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