This month I am sharing Advent reflections and stories. They gather up moments that I love. And they bring to life blessing and promise, silence and singing, grief and vulnerability, and moments of joy and hope.
I am also recording these stories in an Advent podcast series. You can listen to Part 1 of the series today! It includes three reflections that I hope you will love. This week I’m also introducing my final two reflections for this Advent season. The first is a parable that I lived one morning while traveling some years ago. The second is a surprising promise. It has been there for thousands of years. But I just noticed it.
UPDATE: Our second ADVENT & final PODCAST of 2021 is here!
A Parable of Power and Privilege
“God has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly.” Luke 1:52
In this fourth week of Advent, I am doing many end-of-the-year things. Closing projects. Finishing up writing. Preparing for Christmas. Turning the pages of the calendar. And grading. Lots of grading.
One thing I find myself trying to teach students, who benefit from white privilege and easy access to the goods of the dominant culture, is how to deconstruct their whiteness. This is not easy. The students can take the initial step of recognizing they live with privilege privilege. That is often where they end. They see it as a deficit and barrier. I try to move them beyond that initial recognition. I try to teach them some thing about deconstructing the whiteness. So its grip on their minds and hearts might loosen. Just a little.
The work, however, is messy and embarrassing. It is hard to see when your whole life conditioned you not to see. And it is vulnerable to admit flaws, to see the mess you make, and to notice who is left to clean up after you. If, however, we hope to embody anti-racist living, then deconstructing our social location is a good starting point.
What makes you vulnerable? Will you curse it? Or take the risk of seeing where it leads?
A Promise of Blessing
Mary and Elizabeth carry so much. Their stories carry so much. It is more than flesh and blood. It is fulfillment with many layers of promise and blessing.
Is there something sacred longing to be born in you?