|Posted on December 2, 2021 at 10:00 PM|
We are in the season of Advent. Advent from the Latin, "adventus," means "coming," and during this season, Christians prepare for Jesus' coming. The four Sundays preceding Christmas are recognized for four virtues. The candles on the Advent wreath symbolize hope, love, joy, and peace.
As I get ready for my 9th Christmas working at ECS, I find the season of Advent a time of contrasts and reflections.
How do we experience hope, love, joy, and peace in this time and place? Are we prepared to acknowledge that our experiences are significantly different for many? Are we ready to realize why? Are we prepared to level the playing field in a meaningful and sustainable way? Are we prepared to create equal access to opportunity for all of us?
If nothing else, what I have learned in my nine years at ECS is that individuals experiencing poverty are some of the most resilient people I know. We have learned that given access to opportunity, they can overcome circumstances that would break many of us. Such access is at the heart of our work and advocacy at ECS, and we see it working every day.
If we are to be indeed Advent people, where we wish the blessings of hope, love, joy, and peace to our family, friends, and neighbors, we need to include all of us.
We are a diverse and divided nation this Advent season. We are on the brink in so many ways, and poverty is but one marker of the divide.
So we have a choice and a challenge. Can we make it real through our actions, deeds, investments, the gift of hope, love, joy, and peace for all of us, not just some?
Can we be Advent people year-round?