Saturday, December 10, 2011

The third Sunday in Advent

A new book, Jerusalem: the Biography, by Simon Sebac Montefiore, details the constant flux of various rulers, squabbles, massacres and battles in the history of the Holy City. But one story lies slightly out side of Jerusalem it is about the man who kept Napoleon from capturing the city. The ruler, Ahmet Jazar Pasha, the Butcher, ruled by fear. He made a practice of cutting off portions of both his servants and his official’s bodies such as noses, hands and ears. He often gorged out an eye. The author writes, “His Jewish minister, Haim Farhi, ‘had been deprived of both an ear and an eye’ just to be sure. According to the author he was a former Bosnia slave raised in Egypt and finally a warlord in the Ottoman Empire.

For this posting, how the Butcher defeated Napoleon is not necessary. It is a long story. For this third Sunday of Advent, I am reminded of how, we all walk about with wounds. For most, not physical wounds, but there are other kinds, and many of them occur because of the warlord who has enthralled us or tried to enthrall us in his petty kingdom. But a greater than Napoleon has come, and is coming. He came as a small baby he will come again as ruling Lord. Jesus has defeated the enemies of his Great Kingdom on the cross, he is with us by the power of the Holy Spirit, and we with him. Jesus is coming and his kingdom will be great.

There will no longer be any curse; and the throne of the Lamb will be in it and his bond- servants will serve him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads, and there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever. (Rev. 22:3-5)

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