Advent 2020: Optimism 2020 by Jonathan Botts
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” then the angel left her.”
4th Day After Christmas
December 29, 2020
What does it mean to walk down main street and see the lights off in your favorite businesses? At home, the news media announces record coronavirus deaths, even when the TV is off, your cell phone alerts you to a case of justice denied. Your child, who hasn’t seen their friends for months, asks for your reassurance. You pray for the strength of conviction to say, “It’ll be okay.” Where do we turn for hope and optimism in 2020?
Christ’s birth reveals the consistency of God’s message that we look to the next generation to find reasons for pressing on. James Baldwin confessed, “I’m optimistic about the future, but not about the future of this civilization. I’m optimistic about the civilization which will replace this one.” I can imagine that Mary, denied a room in the inn, and narrowly escaping public condemnation, felt the same optimism. In a future Gabriel announced her child would bring. (Luke1:26) This same hope inspired the Magi to follow the eastern star to fulfil the prophecy, despite Herod’s malicious decree.
We look into the eyes of our youth and say unwaveringly, “it’ll be okay.” They hold the potential to make tomorrow as brilliant as the star that guided the Magi, as liberating as the North Star which guided Harriet Tubman and countless other ancestors who stole joy from the jaws of defeatism.
God of our ancestors, Creator of all, lead us to look beyond the horizon, to see a path forward that escapes the near-sighted.
Show us that our faith should rests in your masterplan, not in our own understanding.
Let Your word be fulfilled.
Brother Jonathan Botts
Join us in a time of reflection, anticipation, and contemplation during the season of Advent 2020.
Each day a new reflection with a scripture and prayer will be posted on the Metropolitan AME Church website and social media to encourage you to hear the words of those reflecting, anticipating, and contemplating with you in community as we thank God for what God has done, notice what God is actively doing and anticipate what God will do next.
Read along with us each day or download the book to read and write along with us offline. Chart and journal for yourself what God has done, what God is doing, and what God is illuminating for you in this season.