It is advent, a critical moment in the church calendar.
It is post-election, a critical moment in the life of the United States.
Advent is marked as a time of quiet, expectant waiting. There is hope in birth narratives of Jesus, but it is hope tempered by loss, defeat, and suffering that comes from living under a brutal imperial regime. There is no fanfare in his coming, it is noticed only by poor shepherds and Pagan Stargazers. The priests, pundits, and powerful elite were unaware.
This US election is marked by something vastly different. It unmasked the anger, pain, division, and in many cases, hatred of those ‘others’ operating as scapegoats for the US Empire. Fanfare is on order for the triumphant party, running victory laps, rallying one side over and against another. Whipping people up into a frenzy for a great return. The priest, pundits and powerful elite rejoice. Continue reading Mary: Revolutionary for Our Time
Today we are three weeks into the advent season preparing for Christs coming. Christmas, for Christians, is not simply a remembrance and celebration of history (though it is certainly that), it is more importantly a proclamation of reality. The father of Quakerism, George Fox, wrote in his journal of his present and personal experience of Christ when he said: Jesus has come to teach the people himself, meaning that for Christians there is no waiting for the return of Christ is some distance future, Christ is here with us and among us now. When we talk about the Light of Christ, who is the Inward Light, this is what we mean. Therefore, if Christ came two thousand and nine (or so) years ago, then Christ is also born every year at Christmas and he is born in us every time we make the space in our wombs for the divine gestation to take place. Continue reading Advent Message "Come Be Born in Us" (Luke 1:39-55)
In the fourth of his missiology lectures (see more on his third here) Steuernagel reflected on a few passages where we see Mary interacting with her son, Jesus. In John 2:3-5 it says:
When the wine gave out, the mother of Jesus said to him, They have no wine. And Jesus said to her, Woman, what concern is that to you and to me? My hour has not yet come. His mother said to the servants, Do whatever he tells you.