Bishop Alfred Johnson, Ret. Bishop of Greater New Jersey Annual Conference and currently Senior Pastor of Church of the Village Church in lower Manhattan, offered these bold and prophetic words at the Occupy Advent Service at Zuccotti Park:
"...This Sunday's lectionary ushering us into the Advent season, featured the fiery and inspired "John the Baptist."
Taking editorial liberties and paraphrasing a bit to embody our occasion here, the Gospel of Luke(3) boldly testifies: "right in the middle of a matrix of mighty military and conspiring religious institutional power, the interrupting Word of God "Occupied" John the Baptist, who "occupied" the wilderness with words that "occupied" and even overflowed into the public and political economy of that day, and declared, a change is gonna come! God's change of Justice and fairness for all."
Even with this, John was clear, that water was not enough to baptize the moment, for water only "occupied" the space it found itself in. But, that One was coming this Advent, who would not only bring water, but would overflow beyond the space with the Holy Spirit and Fire, and that with that power, would flow wherever it chose to go, - even Wall Street and beyond.
May our "occupation" be only a sign of the journey, whose real destination is Shalom, God's Shalom in Jesus, indeed! Shalom is born at Christmas and busting loose! AMEN!"