“Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel.”
November 30, 2020
The Hope of Advent
At a time in the world where there is so much uncertainty, it can be hard to find reasons to be hopeful. But the Advent season gives us many reasons to be encouraged. Sure, there’s the anticipation of the sounds, scents, and sweetness of Christmas that can get us excited. In the days before and after Christmas that are less pleasant, though, how can we be fully present in the hope the season inspires? Consider these reasons.
At Christmas, God in flesh appears. Jesus not only comes into the world; He comes to live among us. Born in a barn to an unmarried woman from Nazareth, Jesus and the way he inhabits the spirit of Emmanuel—God with us and revealed in us—make clear that all are included and that God can manifest in the strangest of places. Jesus’s birth also reveals that God moves and can change to meet the needs of the people. Jesus’s life and death do not mean that we can avoid sin and suffering. His life makes clear that suffering and death are inevitable. He was born into a world determined to enact genocide on Him and his kind, on the one hand, and killed by the hands of the Roman state on the other. Even as his life was book-ended by assault, His life was filled with liberation—the supreme symbol of hope.
Births of all kinds remind us that life keeps coming, even after death. And Jesus's birth amid despair confirms that some vitality is beyond the design of humanity and more in the purview of the divine. The celebration of Advent reiterates that something more authentic than our little selves is always at work. God is with us—what more could we hope for?
Thank you, God.
Sister Dana Williams
Bethel 21 Historical Society
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.