Comes now the time we wait in darkness and breathless anticipation for hope to be born. Hope against hope.
This is the darkest Advent season of my lifetime. We yearn for the words of Isaiah to come to pass:
The spirit of the Our Godde is upon me,
because Godde has anointed me;
and has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed,
to bind up the broken-hearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and release to the prisoners;
The prophet’s words call for our compassion to deepen – especially those of us who have never been hungry, or frightened, or powerless, or foreigners. This year we hear them differently. Suddenly we face the reality of being on the down side of the widening schism between rich and poor. The middle class shrinks and we can no longer count on our water being clean, our air being breathable, our livelihood being enough to support us. Our children are vulnerable to sexual predators. Our black men, imprisoned and exploited in unconsionable numbers, need to be released. Women and people of color, the poor, the LGBT+ community, and immigrants desperately need to hear good news for the oppressed as our rights are being marched back by jack-booted thugs.
The image of an anticipated babe in utero, of a fallow garden with seeds beneath the frozen earth, conjure the thought that something powerful happens in the dark. Growth, possibility, time, and space to gestate miracles. This Advent demands of us that we birth Christ into the world so that when we claim that followers in the Way of Christ are, indeed, the body of Christ, then this dark season impels us to remember what that means and to grow our understanding.
We are the ones who must risk feeling the Spirit of Godde upon us, calling us to do impossible things on behalf of all humanity.
We are the ones who must bring good news to the oppressed, even those of us who are oppressed, by speaking against the power that suppresses and finding our power to act and speak as we are empowered to act as the Holy Spirit descends this Holy Season.
We are the ones who must gather to ourselves those who mourn, whose families have been torn apart by a racist immigration policies, and Dreamer’s who are our children, being forced to leave the only homes they have ever known.
We are the ones who must stand for those imprisoned and demand justice.
We are the ones because we claim to be the Body of Christ, the living aspect of the one who came to liberate, heal, and lift up the least of these.
This Advent, we retreat into the dark, not a darkness that blinds, not a darkness that constricts our souls, but into the rich dark that nurtures our spirits and grows our imaginations so that we might bring to life great hope and find our power to stand and speak and live the promises of Godde embodied in our world.