Wisdom from above is . . . full of mercy and good fruits
When the Disney channel first came on cable some 20 years ago, they aired a claymation series based on the writings of Mark Twain. It was quite wonderful. One episode was based on Twain's Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven. Not too long after that, I found the book in a used book store and read it. There is one scene that has stuck with me ever since. The protagonist asked an angel the name of greatest military genius who ever was. The angel said that it was a bricklayer from Boston named Absalom Jones*, who never got a chance to do what he does best because he was missing a couple of fingers and teeth and so the army wouldn't take him. But, he was a military genius, and we'd all have known that - if only he'd been given a chance during his life. How does this fit in with an Advent sermon on JOY? You'll just have to read The Advent of Hilaritas 12-12-10.pdf
*To my Episcopalian friends - No, I don't know whether Twain purposely chose the name of our denomination's first African-American priest. I wouldn't be surprised, though, because needless to say, the Rev. Jones, born a slave in the late 1700s, experienced plenty of institutional obstacles in his remarkable life.