Advent: Hope, Peace, Joy, Love - A Way Forward in Difficult Times

The past few weeks since the election have been difficult for most New Yorkers—the result was a shocking surprise and felt like a rebuke to the progressive values so many in this city hold dear: diversity, inclusion, tolerance, and equality, among others.  

And to add insult to injury, those in the progressive Christian community have discovered that a majority of white “Christian” voters supported the candidate who ran an overtly racist, misogynistic, and xenophobic campaign—which are the antithesis of the Christian ethic to love our neighbor as ourselves. 

So, where do we go from here? And what can we do to resist what feels like an existential threat to the values we hold most dear?

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Here are some encouraging words of hope, peace, joy, and love from a number of the best progressive Christian leaders during these turbulent times:  

“I’m going to fight for people to have jobs, for everyone to have enough, I’m going to fight against racism and xenophobia. I’m going to fight for black lives. I’m going to fight for LGBT rights. Wherever the anger is, wherever the violence is, I’m going to fight for love. I’m ready to make allies with anyone who’s ready to stand against hatred.”
--Jacqui Lewis
“Jesus is already present among the very people and places Trump despises as weak. When we stand in solidarity with the despised and the suffering, Jesus stands with us.”
--Rachel Held Evans
“Jesus says ‘how you treat the stranger is how you treat me,’ so we have to take him seriously. That will include holding police officers accountable for brutality against people of color, and offering sanctuary to undocumented immigrants in the churches. 
White Christians voted just like white people in America did, and being Christian didn’t matter much, so how do we teach white Christians, white evangelicals to be more Christian than white? That’s the issue going forward.”
--Jim Wallis
“This election revealed that a far larger branch of Christianity has been married off to political power than we previously thought. One thing progressive Christians can start to do is evangelize ― among other Christians. We need to continue converting Christians to following Jesus. We need to create disciples, and reach evangelical Christian Americans with the gospel of Jesus. This is a gospel that has slowly given way to the religious right’s gospel of political power going back long before Trump.”
--Benjamin L. Corey

So let’s get started.  We’ve got a lot of work to do! But, as the seasons of Advent and Christmas affirm, God is with us!

I’ll conclude with one more quote from Jacqui Lewis:

“People who believe life is precious … everyone who believes Muslims are our neighbors and our friends, everyone who denounces violence against black people, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia, and everyone who believes love is a revolutionary force. All of those people are joining together right now, we’re crying together, plotting and planning how to resist together. That to me is the new religion, the new Christianity.”

Peace,
Scott