The holiday season is an incredibly busy time for everyone. It’s a wonderful season full of cookies, parties, cakes, lights, and candy. There is no doubt that food and stuff play a central role in this season. For many, the kickoff to Christmas is the end of the Thanksgiving meal and a quick shift to buying things on Black Friday. Yes, there is no doubt; the holiday season has become a thing all its own. A monster we couldn’t possibly tame so we ride the wave and enjoy the 5 pounds that come along with Grandma’s desserts. The holiday season has become such a large part of American culture that we’ve stopped calling it by its original name: Advent.
The Advent season is definitely not about the cookies and deals on CyberMonday. The Advent season is about the coming of Jesus. In the coming weeks my church, Good Shepherd Presbyterian, will be looking at the 4 themes of Advent, the first of which is Hope. Now I will be the first to admit, one of my hopes every Advent is to gain the 5 pounds from the glorious food. I am not a girl that shies away from nice hors d’oeuvres so I fully understand the struggle to not snack on everything in sight. But surely the coming of Christ has given us more to hope for than our favorite treats or the newest gadget.
Christmas is a challenging time for so many, because of all the hopes. Children’s hopes for toys when parents know that there isn’t enough money to do it all. The hopes of lonely people to be included and invited to someone’s home. And the simple hope to have enough to eat, let alone the feast that so many others enjoy. You all know by now that my year of service is dedicated to food justice and you have to be wondering how I manage to incorporate food justice into any topic we’re discussing. The reality is that food justice is a part of every topic, especially the holiday season. While you think about hope and how it is a part of Advent, also think about hope in others daily lives. A blessing of all the food this time of year is that so many realize that their abundance is not the case for everyone. Donations and volunteer hours are through the roof, helping to make so many have a Merry Christmas. Good Shepherd will participate in an Angel Tree and time as a congregation at My Brother’s Keeper, touching the lives of many in our community.
My hope for Advent would be that everyone takes some time to help.