O wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High
Reaching from one end to the other
Mighty and sweetly ordering all things
Come and teach us the way of prudence
It is an extra-ordinary Advent so far this year, with the death of Nelson Mandela filling our news. It is not our usual practice to reflect so much on a life and what it stood for. Even more extra-ordinary was a stadium filled with a great spectrum of people at this memorial service yesterday. Statesmen standing side by side ordinary Africans to celebrate his life. Such a gathering bringing together global personalities (world leaders, singers, freedom fighters) would have seemed an impossible dream only a few years ago.
That service seems to stand for the possible - not only what became within Mandela's lifetime, but a rainbow gathering from around the globe, inter-racial, inter-faith, inter-national. Where differences were set aside or even deemed irrelevant. When Desmond Tutu gave the blessing it seemed like the whole world kept silence to receive God's blessing on what was happening.
How our world needs that corporate togetherness, and when it happens God wants to bless it. Advent is a time when the Church has remembered Christ who comes. The traditional Advent antiphons, give voice to not only who Christ is, but a cry for what he brought and continues to bring.
How we need wisdom today, not only to make good and wise decisions, but to know when things more eternal (like the gathering yesterday) are far greater than things temporal. A cry we need when so much time is taken up with our obsessions and differences which keep us apart, rather than those that bring us together. We may then be able to stand in silence together and feel God's blessing.
What if.... We all had the grace to set our differences aside for the common good?