Church of Our Saviour

21 Marathon Street | Arlington, Massachusetts | 781-648-5962

Advent Affirmations

Dear Friends,

In the four weeks of Advent, our readings and our worship focus on hope. Now, if my life is already perfect, I do not need to hope for anything. If I am perfectly confident that the future will continue to bring me everything that I want, I do not need to hope. Of course, that is not the world in which we live. When we have the courage to look around, we see a huge gap be tween the world as it is and the world for which we long.

For many, this gap is painfully real in their family lives. The holiday season, especially Christmas, brings home the loss of family by death, divorce or simply by distance. Others experience the gap in our political and economic life or in the continuing violence in our world. Advent is time to pay attention to these gaps. As we do so, our human optimism is likely to be overwhelmed. On our own, we cannot overcome the gap between life as it is, and the life we most deeply want. The Bible and the tradition of the Church witness to a God whose purpose is to restore all things in Christ. Hope is God given, springing from our prayer. This Advent, you may wish to meditate on the following affirmations inspired by Alan Boesak, a South African Theologian:

It is not true that we must accept inhumanity and discrimination, hunger and poverty, death and destruction;
THIS IS TRUE: I HAVE COME THAT THEY MAY HAVE LIFE, AND HAVE IT ABUNDANTLY.

It is not true that violence and hatred shall have the last word, and that war and destruction have come to stay for ever;
THIS IS TRUE: FOR US A CHILD IS BORN, TO US A SON IS GIVEN, IN WHOM AUTHORITY WILL REST, AND WHOSE NAME WILL BE PRINCE OF PEACE.

It is not true that we are simply victims of the powers of evil that seek to rule the world:
THIS IS TRUE: TO ME IS GIVEN AUTHORITY IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH, AND LO, I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS, TO THE END OF THE WORLD.

It is not true that we have to wait for those who are specially gifted, who are the prophets of the church, before we can do anything.
THIS IS TRUE: I WILL POUR OUT MY SPIRIT ON ALL PEOPLE, AND YOUR SONS AND DAUGHTERS SHALL PROPHESY, YOUR YOUNG PEOPLE SHALL SEE VISIONS, AND YOUR OLD FOLK SHALL DREAM DREAMS.

It is not true that our dreams of liberation of humankind, our dreams of justice, of human dignity, of peace, are not meant for this earth and its history;
THIS IS TRUE: THE HOUR COMES AND IT IS NOW, THAT TRUE WORSHIPPERS SHALL WORSHIP GOD IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH.

Our world is full of anxiety and in great need of hope. In our prayer and as we worship together, may God ground us in the hope which Jesus embodied. Then let us put our hope into action!

I wish you a blessed Advent and a joyous Christmas.

Tricia
Affirmations are taken from Holy Ground: Liturgies and Worship Resources for an Engaged Spirituality, by Neil
Paynter and Helen Boothroyd

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