Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light …
— Rom 13:12
Some days, it’s a challenge to be hopeful. Hatred and violence seem only to escalate and the lines of division harden. But we have entered the Advent season. We are moving toward the light, toward salvation through Jesus Christ.
Advent reminds us to be thoughtful about how we want to live. It’s an opportunity to reflect on God’s promise to engage humanity. This is renewal time. We’re preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the promise it holds. Advent helps restore us as disciples.
The promise of Advent is Emmanuel, God with us. The Word becomes flesh and dwells with and within us. I’ve come to understand the Word to include the call of the prophets to protect the most vulnerable in society — the widow, the orphan, the alien. Why those three? Because they had no legal rights, no voice among the powerful.
As disciples of Jesus Christ, we are called to care for people who are homeless, people who are hungry and thirsty. Comforting the sick and the imprisoned, welcoming those who are different from us. These are the people God has trusted to our care. “Go and do likewise,” Jesus charges in the parable of the Good Samaritan. We are the bearers of hope to the world — and must live the miracle of incarnation by being present in the places of human suffering.
So, as we move through Advent, let’s recharge and be ready to do the work of God’s Kingdom, for “the night is far gone, the day is near.” (Rom 13:12)
Grace and peace,
The Reverend Frank Clark Spencer