Forest Lake Talks

December 6 Advent Devotional

December 6, 2020

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God.”  –Isaiah 40:1

Isaiah first spoke these words into a situation of desolation and despair.  Jerusalem had fallen to the Babylonians, much of its leadership deported, and the rest of the people living under the rule of a foreign power that did not know nor respect their God.

We celebrate Advent in a time of darkness, both literally as the days grow shorter, but also figuratively as we are seemingly dividing up more in more into our religious, social and political clans unable to recognize the humanity of and divine image in one another or speak to one another a word of love much less form part of the peaceable kin-dom envisioned earlier in Isaiah 11 where    

“The wolf will live with the lamb,

the leopard will lie down with the goat,

the calf and the lion and the yearling[a] together;

and a little child will lead them.

The cow will feed with the bear,

their young will lie down together,

and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

The infant will play near the cobra’s den,

and the young child will put its hand into the viper’s nest.

They will neither harm nor destroy

on all my holy mountain,

for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord

as the waters cover the sea.”

Here on the border, as I imagine may be the case in Columbia, the hospitals are filling up with persons suffering from COVID, children are struggling to adapt to virtual learning with less than ideal tech tools, families who fled extreme violence and poverty and came to Agua Prieta to petition legally for asylum at the Douglas are stuck in Agua Prieta where they are targets of cartel violence, and people are dying at higher rates than ever in the desert where the paths have not been made straight for the hungry, the thirsty, or the stranger.    

“Comfort, O Comfort my people, says your God.”

Isaiah continues to speak these words into the darkness of our realities today.  Isaiah is not speaking directly to the people of Israel here but rather to those who God is recruiting to be messengers of hope.

On Tuesday, we will hold our 1040th Healing Our Borders Prayer Vigil just north of the border.  We gather to remember our sisters and brothers who have died crossing the border, pray for their families, pray for our governments that we might find a better way and commit ourselves for working for a more just, peace-filled and loving world where no one dies in the desert.

We have 317 crosses with the names of those we know to have died just in Cochise County.  In the time of COVID, three or four of us gather in person and a larger group gathers virtually.   We process down Pan American Avenue calling out each name and placing the crosses on the curb. 

We never thought that this simple liturgical act of public prayer would by a direct physical comfort to the families impacted by our broken border, economic and immigration system until Araceli’s cousin showed up one day

A young woman stopped one day and picked up a cross and with tears in her eyes she said: “Araceli was my cousin. She was pregnant.  We did not think anybody cared.  Can I take this cross to her mother?”  Araceli’s mother ended up coming to Agua Prieta to visit us at the Migrant Resource Center in Agua Prieta and shared a bit of her grief and gratitude with us and was comforted that her daughter was not forgotten.    

On Tuesday at 7:15 pm, we will be commemorating the 20th Anniversary of the Healing Our Borders Vigil and invite you to join us.  

We will remember human beings created in the Divine Image, Beloved by God whose lives cut short in the deserts around us;

We will pray that God’s loving and comforting arms will embrace the mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, daughters and sons who will not be celebrating the holidays with their loved one;

and we will commit ourselves to living into the vision of hope, restoration and wholeness spoken by Isaiah.

Miriam and Mark are inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: 20th Anniversary Healing Our Borders/Sanando Nuestras Fronteras 

Time: Dec 8, 2020 07:15 PM

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 838 5213 3901

Submitted by: Miriam Maldonado Escobar and Mark Adams, your PCUSA Mission Co-workers Serving on the US/Mexico Border

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