Resting in the Shadow of Hope: Christmas Feature

2020, 3 pp

"Recently, I read a book that unsettled my sense of hope.

In her memoir I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, Austin Channing Brown, a racial-justice leader, writes about growing up Black, Christian and female, and her journey to self-worth while navigating America’s racial divide. In the final chapter, “Standing in the Shadow of Hope,” she says, “[T]alking about race in America is not usually a hopeful experience if you’re Black. . . . The persistence of racism in America—individual and societal—is altogether overwhelming. It doesn’t lay the fertilizer for hope to grow. And so hope for me has died one thousand deaths.”

Advent is a season of hope—of waiting in anticipation for God’s promise to be fulfilled. Of course, during Advent we acknowledge the shadows, we sit with the world’s suffering, with our longings for peace and justice, and we wait. But like the glow of the Advent candles, our hope persists. It flickers sometimes, but it survives, born anew at Christmas.

Channing Brown is calling me to sit with hope differently this Christmas season. She invites me to ponder the fragile nature of hope and what it means when hope dies." (from the article)

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