It will be here in the blink of an eye. In a year filled with pandemics and amplified racial injustice and healthcare disparities and intense election politics, it is hard to imagine what Advent could be like in 2020. It almost breaks one’s heart to try and imagine it.
Each year the holiday season taps into grief. This year it will be amplified.
Every year Advent raises questions of justice. This year it will be magnified.
Year upon year Advent asks of us our best words, and our deepest silences, and our most inspiring images. This year we need all of that and more.
The church does not have the best track record of getting its resources in line with its values. I cannot tell you how many churches I attend as part of my research or as a casual visitor in the last dozen years, where I find myself shocked at the lack of inclusive language for humanity and God.
And white Christians in the US are deeply complicit in racist politics and behavior. We are far from an honest understanding of who Jesus was. Farther still, perhaps, from who we are called to be in the world. Laying down white Christian privilege means prioritizing the voices and lives of Black people, honoring Indigenous Peoples, listening to people of color, advocating for immigrants, guarding the rights and learning from lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer identifying folks. This is our work. Our shared work. And yet all the other crises going on make it easy to believe we don’t have the energy for all of that.
I’m not suggesting that we are to overextend our life energy. Not at all. I’m saying we need to realign it. The world needs us to find joy in what we do in how we show up for each other. That is the kind of ADVENT we need: one that approaches all of our work and life as a matter of deep listening and being present… to all flesh.
Restore and Resolve
This year we want to share a resource for Advent that will help us see and believe in just and sustainable change. The decisions to act with justice and to be open to the fullness of humanity are built into these resources. That is because Rev. Mary Elizabeth Hill Hanchey and Artist Carlye Daugird imagined and brought to life values that we need this year. Here is our conversation with them about Advent and what we need in 2020.
Let’s keep laying these images and words of justice into our lives. Let them accumulate into a preponderance of evidence that gives us hope and possibility for changing our life together. The beloved community may feel out of reach. Yet hope remains. With God all manner of things are possible.
Maybe I’m waxing too idealistic or pie-in-the-sky. But I can say for myself three decades of changing language for God and humanity to be inclusive rather than gender-exclusive has changed my way of seeing and being in the world. The language that keeps white privilege in place is even sneakier and harder to identify. To melt the iron cages of racial injustice means changing our language, images and the narratives to undo white supremacy thinking.
Mary Elizabeth and Carlye are making their contribution to shifting our imagination. They are helping us this year to acknowledge both the changes we are facing and comfort in the narratives of God’s enduring love. They are helping us to see both past and future in new ways through the resources curated for Advent this year.
I’m excited to share them with you. I hope you will consider buying, sharing, and utilizing these resources with your congregation as well as using them in your home.
For a chance to win your own set of Advent. Restore. Resolve resources:
1) follow these accounts on Instagram:
2) write an instagram post about Advent, tagging these accounts and another friend. You will be entered!
If you join us for updates from Three Minute Ministry Mentor, then you will also receive a free download of our Advent Resources for 2020. This round up includes music, devotionals, greeting cards, books and children’s activities.