First Sunday of Advent: A Changed World

First Sunday of Advent: A Changed World

Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19

“Restore us, God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.” –Psalm 80:7

At the start of Advent, we begin a season of waiting and contemplation, a time of personal reflection and, for some of us, a wrestling with what is to come. We prepare for the inevitable, for that which we know is coming every season. This Advent, however, feels different.

Since last Advent season, the world has changed – a lot. We’ve found ourselves seeking a reprieve from social and political angst, our fears have been heightened over the possibility of losing healthcare or deportation. Our foundations have been shaken by the threat of war, and our hearts have grown weary with the ebbs and flows of what the next day will bring.

In Psalm 80, the writer is pleading for God to turn God’s favor back toward the people of Israel after they were taken into captivity. Their years of disobedience and sin had created a violent, desolate situation for them, and the pain of separation from God’s goodness had become evident. I imagine that there was much social and political angst for the people of Israel, too—heightened fears, because people were sick, dying and being forced out of their homes. What they thought was the right path toward righteousness left them waiting for God’s return, for God’s voice, for God’s face to shine upon them so salvation was possible.

This Advent season, as we wait for God in the flesh, Jesus Christ, we must consider the ways we make the waiting of the birth of Jesus more difficult to bear when we seek to receive more grace than we intend to give. As opposing voices grow louder and our day-to-day resources grow smaller, we all must call for both restoration and reparations in a time where inequity and injustice run rampant. We must put aside our personal agenda to push God’s agenda of justice and liberation in a world that hopes to further marginalize and oppress. As we begin a season of waiting, we must remember United Methodist Women’s sacred call “to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ,” because God’s presence is near, waiting for us as we wait for God.

We actively wait with justice on our minds and grace in our hearts for Jesus’ arrival.

Alisha L. Gordon, M.Div., is Executive for Spiritual Growth for United Methodist Women.

Posted or updated: 12/8/2017 12:00:00 AM

Advent 2017

December 3: First Sunday of Advent
December 10: Second Sunday of Advent
December 17: Third Sunday of Advent
December 24: Fourth Sunday of Advent and Christmas Eve
January 6: Epiphany

Contact the Spiritual Growth Office:

Alisha L. Gordon, M.Div.
Executive for Spiritual Growth

phone 212-870-3905

Give Thanks. Give Now.

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