We have washed our hands as the war on drugs has overwhelmingly targeted black men. We have washed our hands as our justice system has given longer sentences to people of color. And then, when an innocent man dies, we keep scrubbing our fingers some more, as we blame the victim.
Thanksgiving is over in post-Ferguson America, and it can’t come too soon. A national celebration of country, family and freedom from want follows on the heels of protests, frenzied media, and the deployment of the National Guard over the failure of a grand jury to indict a police officer over the shooting of 18-year old Michael Brown. In an America deeply divided over race and debate over individual character vs. systems, bad apples vs. rigged games, the long dawn of Advent has begun. Thank God.
For many of us, Advent is the most meaningful season of the church year. It’s not passive waiting; it’s living into the promised future.
I entered parish ministry with a fair amount of idealism, particularly liturgical idealism. Inconveniently, the liturgical proclivities I picked up in seminary were not especially popular with my first congregation. This became clear as a sleigh bell during our first Advent season together.
The proximity of Thanksgiving and Advent evokes in me an awareness and celebration of the ways God comes into the world.
Those of us in violence-plagued neighborhoods look forward to winter's reprieve. Our teenagers understand Advent waiting all too well.
It’s an odd year for my family. My parents, 88 and 89, have lived rich and full lives, and my husband, children and I have shared holidays large and small with them. But this year they are confined to rooms in a nursing home.