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Advent Expectations and Christmas Blessings

By Lewis Speaks-Tanner, DignityUSA President

We are into another Advent season. Let it be an opportunity to reflect and recharge ourselves.

After such a long election season, the electoral outcome does not bode well for LGBTQI people. I, along with many LGBTQI leaders, hope we are wrong. In 2017, we will need continued collaboration with many different organizations to prevent our hard-won rights from being chipped away or reversed nationally and by individual states. As we continue to share our stories, more people get to know our struggles and lives.

Over the last 47 years, DignityUSA members have continued to work for justice.  We have had many advancements as well as disappointments over the years.  The work continues.   I am reminded of a prayer written by Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw, who had the following prayer included in a reflection for the anniversary of the martyrdom of Romero.  It is titled “The mystery of the Romero Prayer.”  The mystery is that the prayer is attributed to Oscar Romero but never spoken by him.

A Future Not Our Own

It helps now and then to step back and take a long view.

The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,

it is beyond our vision.

We accomplish in our lifetime only a fraction

of the magnificent enterprise that is God's work.

Nothing we do is complete, which is another way of

saying that the kingdom always lies beyond us.

No statement says all that could be said.

No prayer fully expresses our faith. No confession

brings perfection, no pastoral visit brings wholeness.

No program accomplishes the Church's mission.

No set of goals and objectives include everything.

This is what we are about. We plant the seeds that one

day will grow. We water the seeds already planted

knowing that they hold future promise.

We lay foundations that will need further development.

We provide yeast that produces effects

far beyond our capabilities.

We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of

liberation in realizing this.

This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.

It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning,

a step along the way, an opportunity for the Lord's

grace to enter and do the rest.

We may never see the end results, but that is the

difference between the master builder and the worker.

We are workers, not master builders, ministers, not

messiahs. We are prophets of a future not our own.

My prayer for Advent is that we have a prayerful, reenergizing and stress-less Advent!  May our Christmas be blessed as we continue to proclaim God’s peace through justice! Merry Christmas to one and all!