Approaching Christmas in uncertain times

The mood of sadness that has settled over America since the presidential election is hard for us to bear. Yet just such a mood hung over the nation of Israel when the Christ Child came to earth. An occupation army patrolled the streets of all the larger towns, with area garrisons always just over the horizon and soldiers on call for emergencies.

It must have seemed at times like it would always be that way. I can well imagine Joseph and Mary wondering what kind of world they were bringing a child into–a world in delicate balance. Political unrest was common. Abuses of the Israeli population were common. The bodies of victims hung here and there along the roads after they had been crucified. In some ways it bears a resemblance to the life that African Americans are forced to live in America. The people must have believed, sadly, that Jewish lives didn’t matter.

To be sure, there was an insurrection about forty years after Jesus’ death, which the Jewish people lost in a big way to the heavily-armed, numerous Roman armed forces. The Temple in Jerusalem was razed–only one wall is still standing, the so-called Wailing Wall because Jews go there to mourn over their lost culture.

And a strange thing is going on right now. The people who were shocked and stunned by the announcement that Trump had triumphed over Hillary Clinton, against the odds and the exit polls and the polls that were taken before the election–those people are hearing little trickles of news that the election was not what it appeared to be. Did a foreign government apply cyber-espionage to put their thumb on the scale for Trump? Did widespread irregularities occur in the voting and vote counting? Is Trump already disqualified for the presidency due to conflicts of interest and corruption?

It is all going to come out, you know. Either before or after the inauguration of whoever ends up becoming president, America is heading for an election aftermath of Nixonian proportions. My question is this: why is it Republicans who have to use their cheating and lying to win? Where are their issues? Well, there are no issues for Republicans, we know that.

But the Star in the East is still shining. Silent and wondrous, that symbol of love and care has not set over these many centuries. We may lose sight of it as clouds roll in and cover the Star for a time, but it is still there. Good, decent human beings from every subculture of America are waiting and watching. We are going to rise to this occasion even if it is messy and causes embarrassment to whoever falls afoul of investigations and inquiries. And no matter how much work it is to clean up the mess, we will clean it up. The fallout from this election debacle has only just begun, and to my mind there is a certain appropriateness in seeing it unravel just at the Christmas season.

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