World AIDS Day and Rosa Parks’ Civil Disobedience

Ruth Hawley-Lowry; 1/12/09

Ruth Hawley-Lowry is a pastor in Michigan and serves as a hospice chaplain.

December 1 is World AIDS Day. December 1 is also the day that Rosa Parks refused to yield her seat on a bus in Montgomery. I’ve been thinking quite a bit about the confluence of those dates this past month. This pondering began when I listened on NPR as people detailed the events in Leipzig, Germany before the Berlin Wall fell. People gathered at Nikolai Church, welcomed by Pastor Christian Fuhrer. People invited others to Monday night prayers for peace. More and more people came as word got out. The pamphlets of invitation simply said, “All Are Welcome.”Isn’t that what any of us want to hear? “All Are Welcome.” Not for what I can offer or buy or give, but simply, “All Are Welcome.” Of course, during this time of Advent in the Christian calendar, we remember the baby Jesus and the shepherds (who certainly weren’t on a high rung in their society) who were welcomed by the angels of God.