In the FaithLink gathering this past Sunday morning, the group talked about Advent.  We admitted how our Christmas preparations, as good intentioned as they are, often get in the way of our experiencing Advent, a time of waiting, reflection, and yes, preparation – but preparation for the coming of a Savior, not the coming of guests for dinner!

Yet, we also discovered how even in spite of our business, God still manages to find us in moments that make us pause and come a little closer to understanding the amazing love and the radicalness of God’s incarnation into our world.

I recently came across a blog post by Rev. Rachel Hackenberg. As my heart has been wearied by the recent events in Ferguson and New York City, it particularly spoke to me and I’d like to share it here.

A Garland Instead of Ashes

When can we dream,
if not in this season of Advent?

When can we make room
in our hearts, in our worship, in our preaching,
for the possibility of something wildly and divinely new,
if not in Advent?

The LORD has sent you to dream of protesters draped in garlands not ashes,
of the poor and mourning marked by oil rather than sackcloth,
of churches resounding with praise not silence, so that
all the world sees this planting of the LORD,
this seed of a hope of God’s glory.
(Isaiah 61:3)

The LORD has called us to dream
of restoration for all people, of justice and relationship
raining down in abundance so much that we laugh and sing together
and no one says, “See how they fight and rage; see how they crush
their own brothers & sisters under the weight of inequity,”
but rather “See how the LORD lives through them.”
(Psalm 126:2)

God has given the world a song
that imagines a so-called welfare mother bearing
God into the world, a boy of color meant to save the world;
a song that recasts the mother as blessed
and praises the boy as Lord.
(Luke 1:46b-48)

I invite you to find time to dream this Advent season, to sing God’s song, to imagine the possibility of something wildly and divinely new beginning with you!