O Come, O Come Emmanuel and ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lowly exile here until the Son of God appear.
Dear Friends in Christ,
The words of this advent hymn entered my mind as I watched the morning news and saw the scenes from Ferguson, Missouri and across the nation depicting anger and outrage over the Grand Jury findings in the case of the shooting of a young man of color Michael Brown by a white police officer. I suspect that underneath the anger is a deep mourning that justice has not been served, that white privilege continues, and there is a profound difference between the experience of the legal system and law enforcement depending on the color of one’s skin and the size of one’s bank account. The name of Michael Brown is now added to a long litany of others that includes Trayvon Martin and Rodney King. We join in the mourning and cry out in longing for God to come and heal, save, and comfort.
It is the call for God’s intervention that is at the heart of Advent, the season we begin this Sunday. I have often sad that Advent is the truest season of the liturgical year because it is the season that most reflects the already but not yet of Christian faith. By and through faith we know that God has restored and redeemed creation. In life we see that restoration and redemption rarely and only glimpses.
As people of faith we now that our hope will be fulfilled. Emmanuel will come to us and God’s reign will be established, the wolf and lamb will lie down together, people will be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character, and that judgment will be by a loving, forgiving, just, and gracious God. Amen. Come Lord Jesus.