Solidarity

12/19/2006

“Veiled in flesh the God-head see; hail the incarnate Deity, pleased with us in flesh to dwell, Jesus, our Emmanuel.” — Charles Wesley

 

Bishop Machado of Mozambique preached a powerful sermon to the Council of Bishops in which he urged solidarity. Sympathy, he said, is often offered to the poor. Gospel life is, however, a life of solidarity not a life of sympathy.

 

The story is told of a missioner who came to work among the poor. Giving of self in wonderful ways, the missioner was surprised and dismayed to hear the observation that “he could go home.” The painful observation was less dismissive than simply true. Those among whom he served were home, with all its deprivations and implications. The ever-present option to stay or go, the power and means to depart set the missioner apart.

 

Solidarity is a profound gift, beyond presence, beyond compassion. 

 

God is pleased with us in flesh to dwell. God, in Christ, comes not just to us but among us. From the Star-Child of Christmas to the Suffering Servant of Lent, Jesus is at home with us. From the manger to the empty tomb, Jesus is God-with-us, God-in-flesh.

 

Because God comes to dwell with us, it is possible for us to dwell deeply with one another. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we live the Advent hope, beyond sympathy, in solidarity with the world Christ came to save.

 

“Mild he lays his glory by, born that we no more may die,

“Born to raise us from the earth, born to give us second birth.

“Hark! the herald angels sing, ‘Glory to the new-born King!’”

— Charles Wesley