Building Reconciled Relationships:
Kairos Advent Resource 2014, Year B
Advent is a time of waiting. Over four Sundays, and in the time between, we await the birth of Jesus and all that it will mean for the world.
And so Advent is also a time of reflection, of contemplation, about how we will respond to the example that Jesus set for us - an example of confronting the unjust use of power, and of committing to building right relationships with the whole of creation.
This has a special resonance for us in Canada at this time. for the past 6 years, we have been on a journey of reconciliation between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples. Through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), we have been addressing the impacts of Indian Residential Schools, a system not just of the churches or the government, but of our society as a whole.
For KAIROS, true reconciliation does not stop with the TRC. True reconciliation means more than atoning for the sins of residential schools; it means revisiting the entire structure that created them and finding a more respectful and reciprocal way forward. It means understanding that we are bound in a web of relationships with each other, with fourlegged creatures, with beings that fly, swim, and crawl, with the entirety of creations.
While we are all used to the Advent themes of hope, peace, joy, and love, there's another tradition out there (the Advent Garden, usually associated with Waldorf schools) that encourages us to explore our place within Creation and thus focuses on the themes of minerals, plants, animals, and human beings. Bringing the two traditions together seems to us a creative and meaningful way to explore our Christian commitment to human rights and ecological justice.
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