First Advent

Sunday, Dec. 3rd marks the first day of Advent. Traditionally, Advent is a time of waiting and watching. For some, it’s waiting for Christmas and presents. For some, it’s watching for an apocalyptic end or a new beginning.

From our UCC Advent devotional come important insights. “… To know the hour of judgment and grace is complex. … to know that crucial hour and not miss it, you need to check our heart.” (Mary Luti) “Advent is a season of having our gaze gently but firmly redirected.” (Vince Amlin)

These words resonate as I reflect on a young African-American pastor, Waltrina Middleton, who sees liberation through lamentation. Her understanding of justice advocacy shifted when her cousin, DePayne Middleton was one of the nine people killed during bible study in a Charlottesville church in 2015. Her own journey of grieving and lamenting her unspeakable loss, has been a healing tool and spiritual discipline. Middleton witnesses people in pain and suffering everyday where everything is knocked out of them. Her lamentation is to help people understand that we are interconnected. And that for the suffering of one it is our responsibility to cry out. Her “strength has emerged through the bearing of life’s pain.” (Jazmine Steele, Sojourners magazine, Nov. 2017, p. 40)

During Advent this year, I invite you to bring your laments to worship and open yourselves to God’s irrational grace in the midst of humanity’s crisis where our work toward justice and peace can strengthen us.

This entry was posted in Pastors Blog. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.