by Micky ScottBey Jones
hope (even if just a little)
sit with the darkness
squint at the light
As we wait for the things that are yet to come, as we wait for the justice our hearts long for, as we wait for the little seed of hope to die and bring forth life — we look for the arrival of shalom….
So often Advent is explained as a season of hushed, joyful, expectancy, like a child waiting to open shiny presents under the Christmas tree. Yes, there is darkness, but it is mediated by twinkling lights and shiny wrapping paper that makes it okay. Just be patient, and soon you’ll get the goodies.
We acknowledge the darkness, but try to scramble past it for light as soon as possible.
Have you ever been stuck in a dark place with only a sliver of light or no light at all? You know those times waiting for news that could bring just as much struggle as it brings resolution? Remember the times of waiting and waiting, not knowing when the answers will come? Times of anticipation, of unknowing, of darkness before more light, are not always joyful, peaceful, or even largely hopeful. These are times of struggle, times of wrestling, doubting, mourning, crying, yearning, times of staying alert to the signs that light may be coming, that things are changing.
This is the time, the time of Advent, to stay alert…to “stay woke”…to your senses, your mind, your body, your feelings, your spirit to where to Spirit is stirring and leaning. Stay woke….to the impact your life has on others…Stay woke…to the injustice that we either contribute to or diminish…Stay woke….to the groanings of the world…Stay woke…to the humble, radical, empire-upsetting ways of Jesus…Stay woke…to the darkness…Stay woke…to the light…and to the sacred and profane in both.
#StayWokeAdvent is a project of people interested in exploring the depths of the darkness and interaction with light through the time of Advent. It is an experiment in spiritual honesty during a time of the year that is often covers up the pain and struggle of the world with a giant glittery bow.
The night is not silent. We are not asleep. We will have a #StayWokeAdvent as we process through the lectionary with visual art, literary and biblical reflections, music and more. Join us in whatever way you desire. The darkness is fuller and richer — and not nearly as scary when we are in it together. I am asking that you join us in this journey.
Follow the hashtag #StayWokeAdvent for articles, podcasts, reflections, etc. Read, react, contribute something, share. We will be following a syncrhoblog type format with the final archive of activity here and atTheology of Ferguson.
#StayWokeAdvent was inspired by the equality and justice movement born out of the death of Mike Brown, and the subsequent rise of both a freedom movement and militarized police response. This intersectional movement has inspired us to reexamine the relationship of faith and justice. We seek justice as many Jesus followers before us have and as Jesus did himself. That seeking includes darkness, light and lots and lots of waiting; therefore, Advent has a lot to teach us in the ultimate pursuit of Shalom.