In the sixth month,
the angel Gabriel was sent from God
to a town of Galilee called Nazareth,
to a virgin betrothed to a man named Joseph,
of the house of David,
and the virgin’s name was Mary.
It is striking that God does his work often in small towns and villages. The Annunciation happened in the small village of Nazareth, where Jesus would also eventually grow in age and stature, before God and men. He was born in the small town of Bethlehem. As an itinerant preacher, he did most of his teaching and healing in the small town and villages of Judea.
Cities are often seen as places of sinfulness and immorality. Sodom and Gomorrah. Babel. Babylon. And later, Rome. To be sure, men have achieved their greatest deeds mainly in cities. But the great cities have also spawned and magnified today’s great problems like poverty in slums, oppression of the masses, pollution and crime. It is easy to see the seven deadly sins incarnated in these cities. Talk of greed and I think of Wall Street and New York. Talk of selfishness and I think of the gnomes of Zurich. Talk of anger and I think of the bickering and divisions in D.C. Think of lust, envy and sloth and I think of Las Vegas or Rio.
Even the secular world longs for redemption. In the mythology of the secular, superheroes come to save their respective cities: Metropolis has Superman; Gotham has its Batman; Central City is where Wonder Woman is; S.H.E.I.L.D. and its superheroes are headquartered in NYC.
Yes, there is evil in the world. And yes, the world is looking for redemption. And yes, everyone longs and pines for the Redeemer.