Yesterday was the first Sunday in Advent. I seem to only blog during this season! Anyways, I’m writing to you from my messy desk in Toronto. I have final papers to write for my (hopefully) last year of seminary and Christmas plans to make for our church. Outside my window, the air is warm but soon there'll be snow covering the streets. What's on your desk or kitchen table? What does it look like in your corner of the world?
This time of year can be stressful and joyful. Some people are preparing for exams at school or for Christmas concerts at church. Some are working long hours and are excited to spend their time off with family. Some are looking forward to holiday dinners and gift-giving. Yet, we know that there are countless people in our own country and in countries all over the world who don't have these same stresses and joys.
We know that some people have never stepped inside of a classroom or had to quit school at an early age because of their gender or because their families are unable to pay school fees. We know that some aren't welcome in churches or faith communities because of their ability, gender identity, or sexual orientation. We know that some people (mostly women and girls) are paid too little or not at all for their work in and outside of the home. We know that some are forced to work in different countries and in precarious situations in order to provide for their families or they don't feel safe around family members. We also know that some people (too many) are without a home and enough food to eat. For all of these people, what is the good news of our faith?
This Christmas, I pray that God will speak to you like the angel spoke to the shepherds. I pray that you will make room for families who have been told that there is no room for them. I pray that you will care for people who find themselves in uncertain situations and without the basic necessities of life. I pray that YOU will live out the good news with your words and actions, so that there will be more hope, peace, joy, and love in every corner of our world.
- Pastor Awit
P.S. this is an inspiring story of a church and pastors all over a country coming together to support a refugee family through an 800-hour, ongoing worship service.