Advent in 2016: Not Normal, Not Now, Not to Come | Sojourners-Jim Wallis

Advent in 2016: Not Normal, Not Now, Not to Come | Sojourners:  ( click on link to read complete article)

"Donald Trump embodies the worst of American values — the consummate worshipper of money, sex, and power — which many are attracted to.
We're at a crossroads of race in America, and I could see from his first speech how Trump was going to use white discomfort and a rapidly changing American demographics to foment anger at others they blamed for their grievances."

"Now is the time to prepare for the real Christmas, in the weeks leading up the celebration of what Christians call the Incarnation. The theological claim that sets Christianity apart from any other faith tradition is this: God became like us to bring us back to God and show us in Jesus what it means to be truly human. He is called Emmanuel, which means “God with us,” entering into history in the form of a vulnerable baby born to a poor teenage mother in a dirty animal stall.

Mary was homeless at the time, traveling with her husband to be taxed by Rome, as a member of an occupied people, oppressed by an imperial power in an occupied deed country whose local political leader, Herod, was so threatened by the baby’s birth that he killed countless children in a vain attempt to destroy the Christ child — whose kingdom he thought might compete with his. All of this political context to the Advent season is poignantly relevant to our own as we also wait for a new political kingdom to come on Jan. 20.

The way our Scriptures instruct us to prepare is not narrowly political, but rather to bring God into our hearts and the world. Advent readies us for the coming of the One who will show us how different God’s priorities are than the rulers of this world and how to live by God’s way in the world — which can indeed be a threat to the rulers.

The meaning of the Incarnation is this: In Jesus Christ, God hits the streets. And preparing for that is the meaning of Advent.

It is theologically and spiritually powerful to understand, especially in the face of our own political context, that the Incarnation came to our poorest streets. Jesus was born poor, later announces his mission at Nazareth as “bringing good news to the poor,” and then tells us that how we treat “the least of these” is his measure of how we treat and love him. That radically defined all of our social contexts clearly revealing the real meaning of Christmas, whatever is on the signs at the shopping malls."


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