We love superheroes! Love them! But it occurs to us they only ever really fix the problems they have also created, and we cannot depend on them to sweep in and fix all the day to day stuff that breaks our hearts. This Advent, as we await God’s breaking into the world again, it’s important for us to remember that God doesn’t break in to fix it, but to continue to shape us in the covenant to live in compassionate and just community. Living in denial leads to false hope; living in the truth–even when it’s ugly– leads to true hope and transformation. And since it primarily has to do with people, it is intrinsically political. How will you speak up and use your voice to build compassionate, just community? Kris delves into Isaiah’s lament in chapter 64:1-9.
Want to know more about lament? (You know, like yelling at God, or crying out, and being honest about the pain and shame we experience?) Good! We need to do that from time to time. You’re not alone, and this is a totally normal thing to do. It’s part of our tradition of worship! If you want to know more, read this.
What’s this “covenant” you keep yammering about? (That link will take you to the UMC page about Christian covenant, but there are also several covenants between God and people in the Old Testament, or Hebrew Bible, which are just as relevant.)
Learn more about the tradition of social justice in the United Methodist Church. Here’s more info specifically about how women shaped the social justice movements of the 20th century.
“God would have us know that we must live as men who manage our lives without God. The God who is with us is the God who forsakes us. The God who lets us live in the world without the working hypothesis of God is the God before whom we stand continually. Before God, and with God, we live without God. God lets himself be pushed out of the world onto the cross. He is weak and powerless in the world, and that is precisely the way — the only way — in which he is with us and helps us.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“If I didn’t believe Jesus makes a difference, I wouldn’t be a Christian. If I didn’t believe it was possible to live like Jesus, I wouldn’t be a pastor. If I didn’t believe that other people could also live like Jesus, I wouldn’t be part of a church.” —Wes Magruder (@wesmagruder on Twitter)
“We never ever give up, no matter what things look like, no matter how depressing the news. It’s okay to hate everything for a few days; then we rise up again, and do the next right thing, which is almost always to help the poor however we can.” —Anne Lamott (@ANNELAMOTT on Twitter)