First Sunday of Advent

Author: Brittany Fiscus-van Rossum

Jeremiah 33:14-16

Reflection: v. 15, ‘he will execute justice and righteousness in the land’

As I am sitting here writing on this crisp fall morning, I find myself shivering. Today I am writing at home, but yesterday my community spent most of our day huddled under tents together as a sharp, wet rain soaked our layers and an unsettling breeze chilled our bones. The remedy for such a chill is hot soup and strong coffee, a fresh change of clothes protected in a grocery bag, warm laughing and joking with your beloved friends, and of course, shelter indoors. Unfortunately, I already know that my church community will likely face another winter outside. While many of our members have transitioned into housing, many still go without. As we actively hunt for properties where our community could afford to safely meet, we will likely celebrate this Advent season huddled near heaters, sharing warm clothing, and praying for a time when we can once again offer the hospitality of shelter from the elements to one another. Offering hospitality to one another in a world that so often leaves so many without the resources we need is the work of justice–the work of the church. This hope-filled passage from Jeremiah which imagines a coming day of the Lord wherein a righteous ‘branch’ of David will execute justice, likely makes us think of Jesus’ coming. Our Advent texts are full of themes used to point and allude to Jesus’ anticipated arrival among us. But another important theme sketched out in this description of the day that God desires, the day we wait for, is that of justice: a justice and righteousness that will bring safety to God’s people. As yet another Advent season comes upon us and we prepare our hearts with the warm comforting thoughts of a vulnerable little baby, I will also remember that God desires justice. I will remember that Jesus came to bring justice. I will remember that the Jesus we await is waiting for me huddled beside a heater outside a church building, and I will work for justice alongside him.

Prayer God who remembers those in the cold, execute justice and righteousness for my community.

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