Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Why We Need A Little Advent - Ben Irwin

Advent calls us to look upon the distress of our world and insists that we see the world as it is—that we see its brokenness and our part in it. Jesus' birth challenged (and continues to challenge) the legitimacy of an empire built upon slavery and coercion. 

We're not very good at waiting for Christmas - or lingering over it when it finally comes.

This may be because we're hoping for some kind of respite from the world, but somehow the payoff of Christmas feels hollow when we finally get there.

I believe the answer lies, in part, in allowing ourselves to fully experience Advent first.

Advent forces us to linger in the dark—even as we wait, sometimes impatiently, for our redemption. It’s only by lingering here that we can see the light of Christmas properly.

To experience the respite Christmas offers, we first have to understand: respite from what and for whom?

Advent calls us to look upon the distress of our world and insists that we see the world as it is—that we see its brokenness and our part in it. This can be challenging for those of us who’ve known nothing but privilege and power and comfort our whole lives.

Confronting the brokenness in our world means confronting the brokenness in our own hearts. It means confronting our complicity in systems that oppress, discriminate, or take away life.

Mary anticipated that her son would bring down rulers, lift up the humble, feed the hungry—and send the rich packing. His birth challenged (and continues to challenge) the legitimacy of an empire built upon slavery and coercion.

The angelic proclamation of “peace on earth” is not something we were supposed to just sit around and wait for. (No peace this year. Oh well… maybe next Christmas.) The Christmas proclamation is a vision we are called to embody.

The full article is available here