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December 2015

Light Shining in the Dark of Terror, Advent Message 2015

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

This opening stanza of Yeats' The Second Coming always comes to my mind in Advent.  It is also an apt description of our current time.  He penned these words after the horrific First World War.  People had witnessed unspeakable horrors and an unprecedented amount of death.  WWI claimed over 15 million lives and the flu pandemic killed another 30-50 million people worldwide.  It was a time of profound loss and chaos.  While we are not experiencing death on such a scale, we are in the midst of a time of frightening chaos with increasing levels of horrible violence.   

I am writing this the day after 14 people were killed in San Bernardino, days after 2 were killed in a restaurant in South Sacramento, a week after 3 people were killed in an abortion clinic in Colorado Springs and three weeks after the coordinated terror attacks in Paris that killed 130.  There have been 351 mass shootings in the U.S. so far this year.  These numbers are staggering.  The constant news of killings is frightening.  This is a terrifying time.  Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world and seems to be growing and getting closer to home.  

There also seem to be few voices of hope.  Whatever conviction the best may posses, it is drowned out by the worst who are full of passionate intensity.  

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