The news this week made me feel a certain amount of hopelessness. Will things in our country ever be less divided?Will we ever understand each other more? Is it crazy to wish that we might be able to find both peace and justice living comfortably together?
After wallowing in despair for a day or two, I thought about how appropriate it is that these are the feelings I have as we enter into Advent. I have often talked about waiting expectantly at Advent with some kind of rosy glow, because waiting for a baby is a wonderful thing. This year, though, I feel more acutely the ways that we are waiting in the darkness of what is, longing for what should be. How long, O Lord?
Where are the places in this world where you see, with holy imagination, the greatest gap between the kingdom of heaven and what is in front of you right now? What burns in your heart? Is it war, hungry children, lack of education or healthcare? Naming these places of injustice, where we feel the need of the Incarnation, is a prophetic act that feels right for this season. Even better is to step into that gap and name the ways that you can be the hands and feet of Jesus to help right those wrongs. Rather than being useless, you are embodying the active waiting that is the Advent season.
I am thankful to be able to sit here in the darkness for a bit, to wait and pray and act in ways that point so clearly to the world as it can be, the world that Jesus spoke of with his words and lived with his friends. I hope you will join me.
Please also read these words from Christena Cleveland, who spoke so truly what I was feeling this week except her words are much much better.
Earlier this year, I reviewed The Circle of Seasons: Meeting God in the Church Year by Kimberlee Conway Ireton. I bought the book myself from the author but there was some kind of post office mishap that meant she had to send the book twice before I got it. Lo, these many months later, the missing copy has arrived, and Kimberlee said that I could offer it to one of you as a gift. If you are interested in winning a copy, please comment below. Advent, the beginning of the church calendar year, is a great time to start learning the rhythms of the church year. I recommend this short and helpful book to you. Please comment by December 5th and I will pick the winner on December 6th.
ETA: Congratulations to Kalyn, the winner of the book.