Some of my friends are organizing an online Advent flash mob in light of the recent events in Ferguson, MO and the ongoing acts of racism and privilege in America called #StayWokeAdvent. As a part of the Theology of Ferguson project, they will be curating a variety of reflections on the themes of Advent and the current state of affairs in our country.
And as a part of their project, Thirty Seconds or Less will be hosting two weeks of podcasts for #StayWokeAdvent. Will you write a reflection on lectionary passage (listed below) or the themes of Advent and the intersection of justice in our country?
Here’s a bit more about the #StayWokeAdvent campaign:
Advent is a time when sentimentality and spiritualization reigns. But, in more ancient forms of Christianity, Advent was more a season of penitence, not unlike Lent. Today, that call for repentance includes a call for justice.
This Advent will unfold against the ongoing protests in Ferguson, the results of the Ferguson grand jury report, the ongoing oppression and ending of life by the triple evils of poverty, militarism and racism, and the ceaseless lynching of Christ through black and brown bodies.
The call of the gospel text for the first Sunday of Advent is the same call protesters in Ferguson issued back in August.
“Stay Woke”, they said.
“Keep awake”, the writer of Mark said.
For many, Ferguson marked a stark wake-up call. For others, it was the continuation of an ongoing nightmare of trying to maintain human dignity in the shadow of an oppressive dominant culture who clings to power as privilege is confronted like never before.
Stay Woke. Keep Awake.
This year, the call of Advent is not one to quietness and tranquility, rather to call for a season closer to it’s prophetic roots and keeping watch by night. Be it in issuing a call to repentance, or a call not to slumber through the season, or personally exploring the challenge to Stay Woke through a #StayWokeAdvent.
Whatever way Advent speaks to you this year, we would like to invite reflect specifically about themes of keeping awake, impending arrival, darkness, light, and watchful waiting in conjunction with inter-sectional justice issues. While the events of Ferguson spurred this collaboration, we are inspired by the inter-sectional justice displayed by Ferguson October and welcome a variety of visions of justice as part of the conversation.
“There is no such thing as a single issue, because we do not lead single issue lives.” – Audre Lorde. While the call to action for #StayWokeAdvent was issued by Michael Brown’s blood seeping into the ground, issues of police brutality, racism and profiling are not the only focus here. We face intersectional injustices that requires an intersectional analysis in order to defeat oppression anywhere we find it in the world.
Use one of these passages or reflect on the themes of hope, peace, joy, and love to inspire your #StayWokeAdvent #30SOL.
Third Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
Psalm 126 or The Magnificat
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24
John 1:6-8, 19-28
Fourth Sunday of Advent
2 Sam. 7:1-11, 16
The Magnificat or Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26