Advent season is a time of looking forward. We look toward the birth of a child whose teachings will change the course of human history.It is a season of joy, hope, and anticipation. This year Advent Sunday coincides with World AIDS Day. On first blush this strikes a discordant note. It is as it ever was, that joy and sadness or concern form the content of our present moment.
On this day we lament the lives lost to AIDS. They are our parents, children, friends,and lovers. We miss them every day. It is on this day that we recommit our efforts to find a cure. It is a promise to those living with the virus that we won’t leave them behind. Not mentioned so often are the survivors. They are the ones who lived through worst of the early days and remained by plan or fluke sero-negative. They are the caretakers who held the hands, wiped the brows and bottoms, and planned the memorial services.
Today’s reading from the book of Isaiah gives us all message of hope. “Out of the house of the Lord shall come wisdom and instruction, and all nations will convert their weapons of war into implements for sustaining life.” Taken at its most expansive this passage is cause for joyous anticipation. It calls for and allows for the capacity of wisdom. From that wisdom will come the establishment of peace and the restoration of health.