No, Jesus is not coming back.We are not waiting for him to be born again this Christmas. Advent is not preparing for his return but it is God waiting for us to live the Beatitudes of mercy, compassion, solidarity, peace making.In a way we prepare for a “fresh birth” in our own lives. As the great Dominican mystic Eckhart (d.1328) said, “What good is it that Christ was born 2,000 years ago if he is not born now in your heart?’ The Jesus story still inspires, prepares the ground for this new birth. The Spirit is alive whenever people live like this.
In the time of King Herod after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea.
Matthew 2: 1
O Little Town of Bethlehem how still we see thee rise-
still under occupation 2000 years later,
Caesar’s boot still on your neck;
Your green hills replaced by Israeli settlements
Illegal to be sure, no matter.
Military check points now control entering and leaving
No freedom then, none now-
A wall which even the Magi could not breach
cuts you off from Arab Jerusalem.
Christian Zionists pour into the Holy Land
weeping at the sight of Gethsemane, searching for Calvary
while ignoring the ongoing crucifixion of Palestinians.
In this place since the days of Pentecost, you are now invisible
still on the margins of empire.
Liberation was born here, still barely out of its crib
God’s reign, coming but ever so slowly
“Good news of great joy for all the people” (Lk.2:10)
Not if you are Palestinian in the holy city of David.