Friday, December 2, 2011

Occupied by Hope

Adbusters "Occupy Wall Street" and "Buy Nothing Day" have recently evolved to "Occupy Christmas" I have found myself intrigued by this movement that shockingly speaks to what we religious leaders have been speaking to for years. It is suggested that we go back to the roots of the traditions of the religious festivals and focus less on the consumerism of it all. I am enjoying engaging (albeit from a distance) in these movements even with their obvious flaws. As I read the advent scriptures it seems to me the Occupy Christmas promoters and the prophetic and apocalyptic calls to attentiveness actually have a lot in common. Both are speaking to a large majority of people who are oppressed and feel cut off from cultural norms. They are voices calling out in the wilderness. Asking us to WAKE UP to the destructive ways of our cultural norms.
As we see all over the media today and hear from our colleagues that many are being cast back out to the streets this winter I wonder how God is calling us as Christian leaders to engage in a new way this season.
Debra Bowman and I have been in a lot of conversation about this in the last week and both of us are writing sermons on the subject she offers the observation that "The Occupy movement is “apocalyptic literature in-carnate, in the flesh." A voice crying out “Something is not right and we’re not getting out of our tents until you notice.” The Occupy movement joins our contemporary theology in understanding that there must be engagement between the will of God and the way of God’s people. That each step and decision we take is a step and decision towards participating in the fulfillment of God’s realm or a step away from the righteousness for all creation that is the profound yearning of God.”
This Advent I am engaging in a new way. I am following the "Occupy Movements" to hear the voices crying out in the wilderness. As I do so I am seeking ways to Occupy my heart and soul with hope, peace, joy and love so that I too may participate in the bringing of the kindom of God here on earth.
Advent Blessings,

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