Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Advent: Getting Rid of the Clutter

By Cathy Brechtelsbauer
I didn't grow up knowing about Advent. So, I’ve been intrigued about it as an adult. I found out, it's about Jesus' next coming, not only his first coming.  Well, duh, we do plenty to remember the earthly birth. But what about the next coming? That's what started me on Advent justice projects.
I noticed that when company is coming to our house, the messes suddenly glare out - the stacks, the newspapers, the counters, the floors - neatness not being one of my virtues. Suddenly, cleaning and de-cluttering become high priorities.

At some point a similar reaction dawned on me while thinking about Jesus’ coming back to earth. How would we welcome him? The messes glared out - the violence, the hunger, poverty, unfair wages, lack of healthcare, trashed places, trashed people. Are these what Jesus' should come back to, after all he taught us?

So I began to do advent activities related to cleaning up some injustice. If you have come to my house lately, you know I have pretty much gotten over my previous company-induced house straightening compulsion, but the advent justice projects continue to make advent a worthwhile time for me.
I usually start the planning for Bread Days or the Bread for the World workshops. I talk to some legislators about some potential legislation on behalf of low-income people. Things like that. This year I am urging people to write to their papers on preventing a sales tax hike.
If you don't already, try adding a justice project to your Advent. For me, it trumps house cleaning.

The author is a Bread for the World activist in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

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