An organization called Doctors of the World (not the same as Doctors Without Borders) has produced a set of Christmas cards with the Nativity we tend to idealize set in violent war-torn situations. They are a sobering reminder that Jesus was born into a world of "might makes right" occupation, and that again this year Christmas will be celebrated in the midst of strife.
This morning the news broke of a church bombing in Cairo, Egypt. The blast killed at least 25 worshippers on what is the Sunday of Joy in the Advent season. Instead there will be sorrow for these Coptic Christians who have come under increasing persecution in Egypt. As helpless as we may feel, it is important to continue to pray for brothers and sisters in Christ who find the courage to worship despite the danger.