Since 2014, Virginia Theological Seminary has facilitated #AdventWord – a global, online Advent calendar. Each day #AdventWord invites participants to reflect on a single word each day in the season of Advent. It is truly a wonderful practice that helps us “keep awake” and “watch” as we dwell within the realm of one word and share with each other a depth of Advent meaning. 

This Advent season, as I use #AdventWord, I want to discover new stories or rediscover old stories with a new vision. I want #AdventWord to be a practice that forms, informs, and transforms the work of Advent is a time of reconciliation and healing – a spiritual practice that moves into community involvement and action. I want to live a present-tense Advent.

Recently, I have been returning to reflections on the needed work of reconciliation in the world. And, as I have reflected on the work, I have been compelled to reflect on ways I have participated in destruction and division and on my own responsibility in the work ahead. Advent, I think, is the perfect season for such reflections because Advent is a time of waiting and anticipation! 

Advent is a time of waiting for the world to change and of anticipating the life-altering transformation that comes with the birth of a child that will be lived out in each of us. Advent invites me to labor in ways that I might not feel ready for and to trek into places that might make me uncomfortable. Advent draws me into the presence of God as God reveals God’s self, and as God leads me into new curiosity and truth-telling. 

So, this Advent, as we join together in holy waiting and the sacred anticipation of the coming of Christ, I will try a variation on the #AdventWord calendar by offering a daily (or nearly daily) reflection on one of four themes:

  • Week One – Racial Healing and Reconciliation
  • Week Two – Environmental Stewardship and Creation Care
  • Week Three – Poverty
  • Week Four – Peacemaking 

The meditations will consist of art, poetry, and music, as well as articles, blog posts, and interviews, all as a reflection on God’s invitation to respond to injustice in our world. I share the reflections as an invitation to you to dwell with the word yourself as you wait with holy longing for Christ to be born. 

The prompts for the 2020 #AdventWord are:
November 29 Tender
November 30 Deliver
December 1 Strengthen 
December 2 Earth
December 3 Rebuild
December 4 Fellowship
December 5 Glory
December 6 Speak
December 7 Comfort
December 8 Patient
December 9 Mercy
December 10 Baptize
December 11 Word
December 12 Honey
December 13 Go
December 14 Rest
December 15 Worship
December 16 Pray
December 17 Learn
December 18 Bless
December 19 Turn
December 20 Rejoice
December 21 Mystery
December 22 Wisdom
December 23 Holy
December 24 Proclaim

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