The more quiet and reflective Season of Advent that Christians observe each year coincides – and contrasts in many ways – with the generally frenzied and consumption-focused season of holiday preparation for a secular Christmas. This, itself, makes Christians countercultural in the face of generally prevailing commercial values and pressures. This year, we are invited to look at the coming Christ Child as a clear call to engage in doing justice and, in the process, opposing the very Empire that drives the large commercial and secular celebration around us. In these seasons of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany, we will ponder the many “isms” of Empire, and are encouraged to place ourselves in a very different position – squarely beside God and others among God’s people who yearn for justice and peace to be alive and evident in all relationships between God, people, and creation. The yearning for justice, as well as for peace and love, caused God to act and provide a voice and model for God’s desired realm in Jesus of Nazareth.
This is an approach that challenges our usual December perspective, traditions, and activities. It changes our preparation (Advent), our celebration (Christmas), and our perspective on all the days that follow (Season after the Epiphany). We do these things in the belief that they will contribute to a more meaningful Christmas celebration, and a life to follow that is more open to being the beloved community, Body of Christ, and redeemed creation, all under God’s – rather than any empire’s – rule.
Consider engaging with our daily devotional to create some quiet space throughout Advent. You are invited to join our Monday Morning Meditation Group for their December silent meditation day. Take a Saturday morning to serve by gleaning.
So let us enter Advent – the season of expectation and preparation to meet the Holy One and participate in turning empire on its head.