How then shall we live? —Effacement, LUKE 3:7-18 “Living in the Edge”
Reflection: In the fall of 2004 I talked with my spiritual director about experiences of effacement in transitional places. Effacement meant for me obliteration, losing or never having visibility. As we sat in prayer with the word “effacement,” its other meaning rose to consciousness. During the transition phase of birth the cervix undergoes a natural process of the shortening and thinning of the uterine walls as they dilate during labour. The cervix is effaced. It transforms from a holding wall to a channel for birth.
Shortly after, the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami occurred on December 26, 2004. When television reporters spoke with the leader of the Canadian victim identification team in Phuket, Thailand, I wept. He was the obstetrician who had attended our second child’s birth. The next day I wept again as I read through emails from PWRDF partners in India and Sri Lanka, in the midst of devastation that killed an estimated 227,898 people. Tens of thousands of mothers, fathers, sons and daughters had been swept away and effaced by the tsunami. One PWRDF partner was active in fact-finding missions among tsunami refugees, where there were reports of rapes, molestation and physical abuse of women and girls in unsupervised rescue operations. Pregnant women and nursing mothers were particularly at risk of brutal effacement.
The two truths of effacement shifted inside me. I wept again at the possibility that an obliterating tsunami effacement might at the same time be birthing something new. I scarcely dared say it aloud, let alone write it.
The root metaphor for God’s compassion comes from the Hebrew word rechem or “womb”. The womb from which compassion flows receives a seed. Kenotic tears from grieving eyes water the implanted seed. Into what do those seeds grow? To what will we give birth, all of us? We are all in transition together, effacing into a vulnerable future seeded with promise. Christ is here at the heart of the pain and compassion. (Adele Finney)
Prayer: O Wisdom, from the mouth of the Most High, you reign over all things to the ends of the earth: come and teach us how to live. Lord Jesus, come soon!
Rector’s Corner: This year, our parish will introduce a Christmas Eve Service for Children at 4:30pm. Our goal is to open an opportunity for both parents and guardians, kids and young people, to enjoy church together in a slightly new way. We will have singing, prayer, re-telling of the Christmas story, and Holy communion for adults. You can even bring your kids in their pajamas. So, come with the whole family and have some fun time on Christmas Eve. Spread the News and hope to see you and your loved ones.
It’s not too late to register to our advent Daily Reflections, “Living the Edge”.I have found this booklet refreshing. It assists me with my personal preparation for Christmas. It has offered me some quiet time during the day to reflect on the words of God. I encourage all members of our community to use this time to prepare ourselves for the coming of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ.