“…but all shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” – Julian of Norwich
We hope you and your family have a wonderful Christmas. We invite you to listen to a Christmas meditation from Marcos Leon (via video above or audio below) and then to read a reflection from Ken Shuman. Peace to you all.
Advent is a season of waiting. Just as people longed for and waited for the coming of the Christ, we are waiting. We wait, expecting something new to come. We wait in faith, trusting that God is at work among us. We wait with hope for a better future and a better world. We long for the day when there will be peace on earth and well-being for everyone. We wait in faith and in hope that one day the kingdom of heaven will invade the earth. We wait and hope for a world where everyone is loved, everyone has opportunity, everyone has enough, and no one is afraid.
While we wait, it is easy to get discouraged. We live in a world that is full of anxiety and reactivity. We live in a world that seems to be more polarized now than ever before. We live in a world that continues to tolerate war. We live in a world where people still go to bed hungry and afraid. We live in a world where injustice and oppression still exist. We live in a world that needs transformation and newness.
Because we’ve waited so long, it is tempting to give up our faith and to lose our hope. It’s tempting to become resigned and cynical. It’s easy to just live life and to take care of our own well-being. It’s easy for Advent and Christmas to become about what we receive rather than what we can give to the world. It’s easy to become passive, expecting God to overfunction on our behalf.
Advent is about waiting, but it is also about working. We are invited to partner with God in God’s ongoing mission in the world. We partner with God to love well. We work to love God, love our neighbor, and love ourselves better. We partner with God to work for peace. We work to establish wholeness (shalom) where there is brokenness in ourselves and in the places where we live work and play. We partner with God so that the people around us get a taste of what it will be like when the culture of God invades the earth. The culture of God is one of love, liberation, and life.
And so during Advent, we wait and we work and we remember. We remember our faith. We remember that just as God took on human flesh and moved into the neighborhood, God is still at work among us today. We remember our hope. We remember that just as it was announced to the shepherds, we have been given “good news of great joy that will affect all people everywhere.” We remember that peace on earth and good will for all was announced. We remember that the God who is love, invites us to reflect that love to the world. As we sing “Joy to the World the Lord is come…” we will remember to choose joy. And as we celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace, we will remember that peace and wholeness really is possible for everyone.
I pray that you and yours will experience increasing wholeness and that you will have a very Merry Christmas.