A Sacred Collage by Paddy Cavanaugh

Paddy Cavanaugh is  a Micah Fellow serving at The Crossing community for adults in transition in downtown Boston. He lives in our intentional community at 2 Garden Street.

As we move into the season of Advent, a time of preparation, contemplation, and anticipation of God entering our world, I have been working on staying attuned to the many ways in which God does enter the world and our lives each week and each day. I spent this past Thursday at the annual Thanksgiving meal hosted by MANNA at our Cathedral. The brothers from the monastery of the Society of St. John the Evangelist were there, along with a few Crossing folks, and members of the Muslim community that shares our Cathedral for Jumu'ah prayer on Fridays, who brought an abundance of delicious food for the feast.

Before the meal we celebrated the Eucharist, a sacramental thanksgiving. At one point during the Prayers of the People I looked around at the myriad of differences in the room. There were people from different faith traditions, different ethnicities, different orientations, and different walks of life - differences that usually keep us apart from one another.

But somehow here in this moment we managed to overcome the divisions that the world would have us believe were true, and share our differences as one community, a beloved community where monks come out of their cells, Muslims cook turkeys for Christians, and the homeless host the housed. As I looked out at the sacred collage of people I could not help but wonder what kind of world this was? And then clearly the answer came to me: this is what God's world looks like and this is what it looks like when God comes into our world.

As we move forward into Advent we should prepare ourselves and anticipate God coming into the world, but we can also pay close attention to how God continually enters our world to transform it. Amen.