Last week, I told a friend I would add joy to my next Advent post because it has been noticeably absent from my journey towards Christmas. Well, I searched for joy ~ I really did ~ but the closest I could get to it, for this fourth Sunday in Advent, was:
‘ Let there be light, let there be understanding,
let all the nations gather, let them be face to face.
Open our lips, open our minds to ponder,
open the door of concord opening into grace.’
The quote comes from a hymn for peace, written and composed in 1968 by two Canadians, Frances Wheeler Davis and Robert Fleming https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/history-of-hymns-let-there-be-light It is one of my favourite hymns to sing at any time of the year but it seems particularly appropriate for this Christmas season.
May you all be blessed with some measure of peace, hope, and joy, now and always.
And, in closing……
I would like to dedicate this post to Baquer Namazi and his family. Baquer Namazi was my husband’s colleague for many years. He was recently sentenced to 10 years in prison in Iran. As he is 80 years old, and in poor health, this sentence is tantamount to life imprisonment. Bacquer’s former employer, UNICEF, has issued several statements about his plight, all of which I endorse.
Here is one of them.
UNICEF Statement on detention of Baquer Namazi
NEW YORK, 6 September 2016 – “It has now been over six months since Baquer Namazi, a respected former employee of UNICEF, was detained in Iran. His colleagues at UNICEF, and especially those who once worked with him, are deeply concerned about his health and well-being – as we stated on 3 March. Our concern has grown ever since.
“Mr. Namazi served at UNICEF as Representative for Somalia, Kenya and Egypt, among other positions. He worked tirelessly on behalf of the children in all those positions, often in highly difficult circumstances. He deserves a peaceful retirement.
“UNICEF does not engage in politics. We hope that Mr. Namazi will be treated as the humanitarian that he is, and that a humane perspective can be brought to his plight.
“Our thoughts remain with him and all his many friends and loved ones.”
The US State Department has also issued statements, one of which can be read here. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2016/10/263245.htm
And President-in-waiting, Donald Trump, has, of course, issued a tweet: “Well, Iran has done it again. Taken two of our people and asking for a fortune for their release. This doesn’t happen if I’m president!” (Note: I don’t know what fortune, Donald Trump, is talking about.)
Our family’s thoughts and love are with Baquer Namazi and his family. We hope that humanity and justice will prevail, and that a good man will be released.
“Let there be light, let there be understanding.”