Sin Creeps into Advent.
Sin has been trivialised to many normal and ordinary acts of being human and it seems it is still in that place. John the Baptist’s idea of sin was much expanded on that of our parents, nuns and the morality police of our youth. John refers to the systemic sins maintaining the status quo, the sins of entitlement due to right acting, of doing what was expected of you and reaping the rewards and the sins of privilege. It was the sin of identifying clearly the status of each individual, their rights and their responsibilities. It was ensuring those born into privilege maintained that privilege. It is about exclusion of others from the benefits you have based on class, skin colour, health or otherwise, gender and age.
In the Australian context, it is the sin of colonialism and the inability of those privileged by it to recognise the original sin, the genocide of Aboriginal people and culture, and not simply denying but continuing to perpetrate such sin today. The dismissal of the Uluru statement by both major parties and the failure of the church to recognise its role is testament to the ongoing sin.
2“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”
In other words, the possibility of instituting the promised kingdom does not belong out there, to others or to the future. It belongs here, in you and now. It is calling you and I to make it real – to put love into action and respond to the covenant requirements of kindness – respect, justice and compassion. It is not a task of people like John or even those whom he spoke harshly about; the first is just one man and the latter group won’t change until they have no choice. It is up to you to ensure they have no choice by you own love in action for yourself, others and the world.
Worth a thought.