In the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Bible, Psalm 12 is entitled “Plea for Help in Evil Times”. As I read through the verses, my mind focused on the situation in today’s world – so polarized and divided, each side firmly believing “The Other” as evil, often hoping and praying for defeat and destruction of the “enemy”. In our minds, “The Other” is someone who most likely does not share one or more of our political, religious or social views, which immediately places them, and assumed to be in the wrong.
During the Season of Advent, we embark on a journey of preparation in anticipation of the arrival of the Christ Child. In a similar way, so did the Magi by following the star lighting the sky and directing them to Bethlehem to adore the baby Jesus who through his birth would shine a new light on the world – a light of compassion, forgiveness and salvation. The focus of his short time on earth would not be on those who considered themselves already “sanctified”, but those were ignored and cast aside. Those who are sometimes referred to in today’s terms as “The Other”.
During this Advent Season, let us reflect and pray that we as a society can shift our view of “The Other” with a focus of who Christ would come to view as “The Other”. These are those who are “invisible” in our society and include those who are homeless, detained immigrants, suffering from mental illness and many others and that we can let the light of Christ shine in our hearts and come to their support.