by Eric Blair-Joannou
"Look toward the east, O Jerusalem, and see the joy that is coming to you from God." "There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free…for all of you are one in Jesus Christ. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to the promise."
In a culmination of Trinity Parish’s theme for Advent this year, today’s readings from Baruch and Galatians exhort us to finally bear witness to the Beginning that is the Coming, the Birth of the Messiah prophesied to the Jews of old. In the above excerpt we are reminded that all of Christendom in the year 2013 can and should testify to this Birth and the revelation in Baruch for Jerusalem, be those Christians “Jews or Greeks [in parentage],” “slaves or free…” Christians of all walks of life are meant to look together toward the east in the hope of seeing the joy to come from God, for Paul’s letter to the Galatians proclaims us all heirs incorporate to Abraham, those who belong to Christ.
Our fair city of New York and the whole of our United States celebrates diversity in many forms more than perhaps any other city and nation, and certainly more than at any other point in History. We Christians here are more various than only “Jew” or “Greek” in heritage, but Danish, Nigerian, Colombian, English, Korean, and everything in between. We have grown up in the South, the East, the North, and the West, in every circumstance imaginable, all saluting one flag. I know that Paul interpreted the growth of the Christian World in this way so long ago in this letter and it is remarkable to me the diversity of people, in our country and around the world, who, according to the promise, will soon welcome the Birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.