by Pr. Sonja Hagander
I have come to deeply appreciate the poem “The Gates of Hope” by Victoria Safford. She’s a local poet and pastor. On this 4th Sunday of Advent in the Gospel of Luke, Mary sings. It’s commonly known as The Magnificat. Mary is a truth-teller. I like to imagine Mary, a young, unwed, teen mother, standing at the “gates of hope” speaking incredible words that shake us so we pay attention to what God want us to pay attention to: the proud falling, empty bellies filling, the rich leaving with nothing, the power structures that we know becoming topsy-turvy!
Our mission is to plant ourselves at the gates of Hope--
Not the prudent gates of Optimism,
Which are somewhat narrower.
Not the stalwart, boring gates of Common Sense;
Nor the strident gates of Self-Righteousness,
Which creak on shrill and angry hinges
(People cannot hear us there; they cannot pass through)
Nor the cheerful, flimsy garden gate of
“Everything is gonna’ be all right.”
But a different, sometimes lonely place,
The place of truth-telling,
About your own soul first of all and its condition.
The place of resistance and defiance,
The piece of ground from which you see the world
Both as it is and as it could be
As it will be;
The place from which you glimpse not only struggle,
But the joy of the struggle.
And we stand there, beckoning and calling,
Telling people what we are seeing
Asking people what they see.
Dear Congregation: What do you see? Who will you tell?
In hope and gratitude,