Advent Alphabet: O is for Oakville

oakville-place-parking-lotO is for Oakville, a town in Ontario. If you don’t live in Oakville, think about the place where you live. At Christmas time, whatever our theology, whatever our reading of the biblical stories, we celebrate God’s intimate engagement and involvement with the human race, in the places where we live. We are both comforted and challenged by the message of universal love, extended to all people.

When I wrote G is for Gold, I tackled questions related to our materialism, and raised the possibility of celebrating Jesus’ birth in ways that are closer to the values he represents. Sojourners Magazine, ( long a voice in the wilderness, calling for justice for all of God’s people, sent an email a few years ago with this seasonal reminder to their readers:

“A popular Christmas song says “let your heart be light,” and that “our troubles will be out of sight.” Even though Christmas is a time of wonder and excitement at the birth of our Savior, a troubled economy, violent conflicts, and extreme poverty weigh on our spirits and require our attention.

So instead of just the feasting and presents, what if we all take action this Christmas? Let’s not just sing about God’s love when we can commit to actions that will bring love, peace, and justice for our neighbours far and near.

In the spirit of a joyful, Christ-centered Christmas, we’ve even written a carol for a subversive sing-along. Who said doing justice had to be boring or serious?! So, clear your throat and join us in a rousing chorus of: “Have Yourself a Peace and Justice Christmas” (to the tune of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”).

Have Yourself a Peace and Justice Christmas

Have yourself a peace and justice Christmas,

Set your heart a-right.

Flee the malls and focus on Christ’s guiding light.

Have yourself a peace and justice Christmas,

Give your time away.

Share God’s love,

And serve “the least of these” today.

Here we are, as we pray for peace,

We’ll live simply and give more.

We care for those far and near to us,

Which brings cheer to us, once more.

God brings down

The haughty from high places,

And lifts up the low.

God cares for the hungry and the humble, so –

Forget the stress and let the peace and justice flow! “

The Advent Alphabet is a ministry offering from Rev. Darrow Woods, minister at Trinity United Church in Oakville, Ontario.

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