“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” is a nice line in a song, but only a dream for so many around the world. My journey with Jesus on behalf of the poor began several years ago in Kenya, but this past summer it took an unexpected turn to take my wife and me to the place God wanted us to be. Just like God grabbed the attention of the Magi through a star in the sky, inviting them to embark on a long and arduous journey to find the true King, God grabbed our attention through an invitation to go back to Africa and look again at the critical needs of mothers and children.
She walked for days over countless miles, her belly swollen. The baby within her gave her no peace, stirring and ready to be born. When the time came, uncertainty reigned. She was a stranger there. She wasn’t sure where she could deliver. But on that day as the first cry of her little boy pierced the air, her face broke into a smile. Her hope, her future had entered the world.
Advent is a season of expectation, hope, and preparation for the miracle of God’s entry into our world as a vulnerable infant. But do we pause often enough to ponder the birth itself? The nativity stories found in our sacred texts tell us little about it, though what we know is Mary was a relatively young woman, she was pregnant at an unexpected time in her life, and she delivered Jesus under less than ideal circumstances.
One of my favorite moments in the entire Christmas story comes just after angels illuminate the night sky, singing praises, and generally being terrifying as shepherds watch from below. After this miraculous (but arguably insane) fanfare, the shepherds look at each other and say, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened.”
For many of us who grow up in the church, Advent is something we are familiar with and welcome every year. But what does advent really mean?
“And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” -Micah 6:8 Alexia Salvatierra, author of Faith-Rooted Organizing from InterVarsity Press on Vimeo. “We know how to give a person a fish. We know quite a bit now about how to teach them … Read More
Doing justice is doable…when you know how. Micah 6:8 has baffled me for years. I’ve always known its message is important to incorporate into my life, but I never understood what it means to “DO justice.” When two workshops on justice were presented by World Vision at my church recently, I attended both to learn more. The first workshop established a foundation for biblical justice, or the “why.” The second workshop on biblical advocacy explained the “how” of advocacy in tangible ways that any layperson can easily implement. Facilitated by biblical advocacy trainer and author Alexia Salvatierra, each workshop was skillfully presented…
Pastor Eugene Cho shares why as Christians we have a call to be advocates– even if we don’t like politics, and a call to seek justice– even if it comes at a cost. “I pastor a church in Seattle and what I tell my congregation is I’m not in love with politics, I don’t really like politics, but I understand that’s just part of how our systems work…politics informs policies which will ultimately impact people. People really matter to God, and as a result, we have to engage in the political process.” Click through to watch the interview.
By Reverend Alexia Salvatierra.
We are called to not just to encourage our leaders but we are also called to act as prophets— to continue the prophetic work of our Lord. Jesus is prophet as well as priest and king. What do prophets do?
Prophets speak God’s truth to God’s people in a specific time and place…
By Ken Wytsma, founder of The Justice Conference I often use the phrase “Theology of Justice.” In fact, it was one of the founding ideas and goals of The Justice Conference—to discuss and promote a theological understanding of justice. But what does a “theology of justice” mean? Simply put, it means that our understanding of … Read More