An Advent of Justice & Love
One of my favorite parts of Advent is the time we spend hearing from the prophets, especially Jeremiah and Isaiah. Today’s reading is a hopeful, beautiful prophecy from Jeremiah that we understand heralds Jesus. “The Lord our justice.” It is easy to read these words and take comfort, to find hope. God will bring justice.
But what if we are the cause of that injustice? What if our words, our actions are the very things that make the land insecure? What if our silence, our inaction builds yet more injustices?
Jesus warns of this in the Gospel. Warnings of apathy, distractions, anxieties fill Jesus’ words.
Advent is definitely a time to enter into prayer, to draw closer to God, to prepare our hearts yet again to be open to Jesus and God’s grace. As we do this, we also need to ask God to open our eyes, our hearts, our minds to not only anticipate Christ bringing justice, but listening to the Spirit telling us where we contribute to injustice.
As we listen to Isaiah herald Christ, let us take a moment to really examine ourselves – our hearts, minds, and lives – what would God find? How are we actively contributing to peace on earth by first building the reign of God through justice and love? How are we preparing for God’s coming by caring for those on the margins, not just through service but changing the structures that perpetuate the marginalization?
May the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all
1 Thess 3:12
Paul writes in this, the very first book of the New Testament (it predates the Gospels), the benediction to abound in love. As we begin this Advent season, preparing ourselves and our world for Jesus Christ, may your love abound.