In the Quran, Maryam (Mary) gives birth to Jesus (Isa) under a palm tree. She is alone--no Joseph, no manger, no wise men, no warm animals. She is without food and suddenly the palm tree bends to give her some dates. She is thirsty and a rivulet appears at her feet. Her despair is replaced with faith. I've been thinking about the word, faith, and what it means to people who do not know where their next meal is coming from, or who fear the increasing violence around them, are sick with COVID or have been evicted. We certainly do not have faith in our politicians; they are too busy playing games to provide any relief for a fearful nation and much of their energy goes toward the orchestration of hatred. Trump/GOP have amped up hatred wherever they can find it because it gets them votes. Their followers have shifted whatever faith they have in the good to people who do not care about them and who will betray them. And we resistors have a tenuous faith in the election just won by the Democrats; we hope we will see a great turning toward the light. Yes, tenuous, because we rightly fear the power of money. Mammon is very happy this Christmas; the rich have piled gold at his feet and with the other side of their faces proclaimed a belief in Jesus. Their Mary is at a spa on Long Island while the chauffeur smokes, leaning against the car.