Generous Orthodoxy  

Friday, December 14, 2007

Violent Night

Has everybody seen the cover of the December 3 New Yorker magazine? Great sermon illustration for Advent and even for Christmas. At first glance the illustration by Christoph Niemann looks a bit like a Christmas card, a picture perhaps of the Wise Men coming across the yellow desert with a sky of night-blue, a lot of stars and one big star...and then you see what it really is, a helicopter in the night, illuminated from below as if by fires or some sort of explosion. Two gunners hold their positions on each side of the copter, looking grim. The pilot looks even more grim. And inside the copter, a cowering passenger--Santa Claus, looking more like a prisoner being carried off for "rendition" than a messenger of cheer being protected.

"Into such a world as this," the carol ["See, amid the winter snow"] says, our infant King and Saviour came. Into just such a world as this.

And what might our Lord and God be doing in this world right now? One thing, surely, is NRCAT, the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. You can go to