Reflection: It’s a Wilderness Out There
(Posted December 4, 2019)
Whenever I read the Gospel for Sunday, December 8 (Matthew 3:1-12), I instantly find myself imagining the place that John the Baptist (and before him, Isaiah) listens for the call to salvation:
"The voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
'Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.'"
No matter whether yours is a quaint country church, or, like ours, a large city landmark on the corner of one of downtown Danbury’s busiest streets, we’ve all heard voices crying out in the wilderness beyond our walls. Some are easy to recognize because we’ve become attuned to them: the homeless, the destitute, the victims of prejudice, of racism, of discrimination, of injustice. Others not so much: the wailing, blaring, whooping and chirping of police cars, fire trucks and ambulances rushing to emergencies.
Church Services on Sunday
We will honor of our area's First Responders during our December 8 Sunday worship. The service will begin at 10 a.m.
All are welcome to worship with us.
While we can’t avoid their sounds, which invariably occur during critical points of a service, we tend to forget their meaning. That’s unfortunate, for besides men and women responding to crises, through them these vehicles also bear the message of Matthew and of Isaiah, heard and heeded. Their selfless acts of bravery may be minimized as being “part of the job” by the callous. In truth, it’s “part of the calling,” Matthew’s and Isaiah’s. These people are truly first responders in every sense of the word and The Word: They forge paths of physical salvation and, in more cases than not, those they save thank not only them, but God.
These “distractions” during worship are really reminders —- I refrained from using “wake-up calls” —- and it’s only right that congregations show they understand and appreciate this in some appropriate way. In what has become an annual tradition, this Sunday our church will hold a service dedicated to Danbury’s First Responders, which includes a hymn we had commissioned in their honor. They and their families will help decorate our Sanctuary Christmas Trees with special ornaments and will listen to expressions of gratitude from our members, both young and old.
In these troubled times when, unfortunately, too many of those we might turn to for help act more like Pharisees than The Baptists, let’s remember one group remains true to God’s message.
Thank you, First Responders!