Noticings – December 7, 2022


December 7, 2022

It was another complicated December 6th. Yesterday held a strange mix of emotions and thoughts. It was the feast day of St. Nicholas of Myra. Nicholas was a bishop who lived in what is now Turkey and died on December 6, 343. Born to rich parents, upon their death he is said to have quietly distributed their wealth to many poor people. This generous giving of gifts became associated with his name, which in Dutch was rendered as Sinterklaas, which of course we know as Santa Claus. The red suit and North Pole stuff was all fun fantasy that came much later, but the spirit of giving was based on a real person – St. Nick.
December 6 in Canada is also the ‘National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women’. In 1989, at the École Polytechnique in Montreal, 14 women were killed solely because they were women studying the sciences. I participated in the annual solemn ritual of saying their names, and vowing to help change the world. We would be wise to remember that our Christian history (and present!) is marred by the evil of the subjugation of women, which means the stream we stand in has been part of the problem. Toxic and tragic misogyny is still prevalent in our society (and churches), and men especially must take the responsibility to confront it and end it.
Yesterday was also another food drive at Faith United, and yet again another pickup truck was overloaded with food donations. This is in addition to the CWID campaigns to support Gate 3:16 and the Simcoe St. Settlement House which received incredibly generous and strong support, and our ongoing Advent ‘Lifewater’ well-digging campaign. The open-hearted spirit of love and sharing within our community of faith is overwhelmingly wonderful.
When I look at those experiences I see that yesterday offered a reminder of the true nature of giving at Christmas, a sobering reminder of how deep the need is in the world for lovingkindness, and a glowing example of concrete, lovingkindness in action. I noticed! From grounding, to lament, to response – it is the journey of faith – and we are all striving to journey ever-deeper. We can’t fix the world on our own (we’ll be thinking more about this on Sunday), but we can do what we can – and we can do more than we probably think we can. Thank you for doing what you can! Love matters, and love makes a difference.
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Rev. Larry