the time Christians set aside for spiritual preparation for the birth of
Christ. It's a strange time. It's a time of busy-ness and movement. It's also a
time of waiting.
for the hope delivered at Christmas, we exercise patience, we are expectant as
we count the days to Christmas Day, and we hope.
many, waiting conjures up images of a docile, passive condition, twiddling our
thumbs and fidgeting while we wait for something to happen.
Advent calls us to task.
dressed-up storefronts and winter wonderlands, we find ourselves living in a
reality filled with poverty, war, destruction, racism. Though this season
leading up to Christmas is characterized by waiting expectantly for the hope
that arrives in the form of a baby born in a manger — the Prince of Peace — we
instead are flooded with the sense that the world is upside down, far away from
are living in fear of deportation. Refugees in the thousands are risking their
lives for the chance at a better life. Young black men are unsure if a routine
traffic stop will end their life.
we practice Advent in such a time as this? How can we wait patiently when there
is so much urgency?
we see past the tinsel, the shiny wrapping, the Christmas songs that have been
playing since October and the Black Friday specials that were announced well
before Thanksgiving, to see where Light is already breaking through?
is just as much a season of active waiting as it is a season of surprise. As
people of faith, we live in this interesting already-but-not-yet space.
Already, because we know Christ has come, and not yet, because we are still
awaiting the arrival of the Kingdom of God, when peace and justice — Shalom —
will reign. And yet we sometimes live as people who have forgotten about this
gift of hope that came to us in the form of a baby, born to immigrants in a
engage this season of Advent, where is God showing up? It may be where you
least expect it: in the unhoused person you pass by every morning asking for
help, in a refugee resettled in your neighborhood, in the angry coworker, in
the family member with whom you've disagreed this entire election season, in the
headlines you read weekly about violence against our brothers and sisters who
are labeled as 'other.'
sit in this tension of a world shrouded in darkness, waiting for the light to
come, stay woke. Tune your senses to the ways God is already at work. Listen
with your entire being to where God's spirit is nudging you. Channel the Jesus
who overturned tables and who fought the establishment on behalf of the
marginalized. Allow yourself to experience both joy and despair for what you
see and hear and feel around you.
all, don't be afraid to look for and engage in the ways God is showing up.
Used from UMC.ORG