2173) Friend or Foe?

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By William Willimon

     After a devastating hurricane, all of the power had been out for the past three days.  It was hot, humid, and miserable during the day.  But it was frightening at night.  Rumors were that there had been much looting.  Robberies had taken place because there was no electricity, no way to call the police, and no streetlights.

     Thus, when, in the darkness, there was a pounding on our front door, we were filled with great fear.  Was this a robber?  Was this a looter trying to find out if the house was empty?  There was no way to call anyone for help.

     The knocking continued.  We peered out the widow and tried to make out the figures on the front porch.

     “Hey,” a voice called out to us.  “We’ve got a big bag of ice for you, and some fresh water too!”

     We made out the faces of our next door neighbors, our friends who had come to bring us some wonderful, and much needed gifts.

     As we peer into darkness in fear, it makes all the difference in the world whose face we see.  Friend or foe?

     Advent means that when we look over the darkened and storm-filled horizon of time, we see the face of Jesus.  That makes all the difference, in the end.


Revelation 3:20a  —  (Jesus said), “Here I am!  I stand at the door and knock.  If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in…”

I Peter 1:13  —  Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming.

John 14:3b  —  (Jesus said), “I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”


Day by day,
Dear Lord, of thee three things I pray:
To see thee more clearly,
Love thee more dearly,
Follow thee more nearly,
Day by Day.

–From the 1971 musical Godspell; by Stephen Schwartz, based on a prayer by St. Richard of Chichester (1197-1253)