The Subversion of Advent
By Al Tizon
How can a baby born during oppressed times in impoverished conditions save the world?
It can’t, unless that baby is Emmanuel, God With Us! The anticipation of the birth of Emmanuel is the season that Christians call Advent, which officially began on Sunday.
I’ve come to rely on Christine Sine’s fresh take on Advent every year, and really through the whole Christian calendar. Without the sort of guidance Christine offers, I fear I would simply succumb, along with the majority of the evangelical church, to the vicious cycle of stress, commercialism, and all-out greed that permeates the lead-up to Christmas. And thus I would drown out the Spirit’s invitation to enter into something much greater.
…I fear I would simply succumb, along with the majority of the evangelical church, to the vicious cycle of stress, commercialism, and all-out greed that permeates the lead-up to Christmas. And thus I would drown out the Spirit’s invitation to enter into something much greater.
What I love about Christine’s approach to the season is that it not only subverts the rhythms of secular society, it also invites us to go deep within ourselves where Christ transforms us in order to become agents of transformation in a desperately needy world.
If you are looking for resources to help guide you through this Advent season, ESA has compiled a brief list for you below.
Wait patiently for the Lord; be strong and courageous. Wait patiently for the Lord.
~ Psalm 27:14
Christine Sine’s Advent devotional—a collection of podcasts, videos, and reflections.
A beautiful Advent devotional with a CreatureKind focus.
Contemplation, reflective prayer, and practical ways to observe the holiness of this season in our everyday lives.
Advent readings centered around the theme of justice, from World Renew and the CRC Office of Social Justice.
An Advent series focused on confronting racially unjust systems and seeking reconciliation through the lens of the Gospel.
Global prayers around a daily word gathered into an online Advent calendar.
Al Tizon (PhD, Graduate Theological Union) is executive minister of Serve Globally, the international ministries arm of the Evangelical Covenant Church, and affiliate associate professor of missional and global leadership at North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. He previously taught at Palmer Theological Seminary, and served as co-president of Evangelicals for Social Action. He is the author of Whole and Reconciled: Gospel, Church, and Mission in a Fractured World.