CWM offers these reflections for Advent at the close of a turbulent year. Advent is itself a time of turmoil and hope. We use it to prepare for the coming of the Christ-child into our realities and to attend to the prophetic voices indicating where this child will be born, for whom and what new worlds he will institute. The theme also connects us to CWM’s new mission theology which underlines the urgency of a confessing witness. A witness which speaks up and out for Jesus present in the injustices of our generation bringing forth change long prepared in the heart of God.
This is to read our world in the prophetic way of Isaiah who so often accompanies us in Advent. These reflections come modelled on and mindful of these words:
A voice cries out:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
5 Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
6 A voice says, “Cry out!” And I said, “What shall I cry?”
Isaiah 40: 4-6 RSV
The voices who cry out here name how and where Christ is coming to work again for the transformation of a world of mountainous inequalities, grounded in the upheavals of violence and repression. Voices from India, Taiwan, the Philippines, Europe and indeed the earth and the body are joining with Zechariah and if their voices are heeded: ‘By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace(Luke 1: 78-79)’
So, we sit with these speakers who respond to Isaiah’s question: What shall I cry? and are challenged to raise our own voices in the same way for the kind of peace which makes angels sing.
-Rev Dr Peter Cruchley, Advent 2020