O is for Ontario (or wherever you live!)

O is for OntarioDec 15, 2019 3rd Week of Advent – Day 15 of the Advent Alphabet

O is for Ontario. That’s the province where I live, and where most people reading these letters make their home. (Although, the analytics for my writing blog indicate people read these posts in India, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.)

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.

In 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. Not long ago, Sojourners Online https://sojo.net/magazine/current sent out an email that offered a reminder in the same vein:

“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 Saviour, 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,
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 a way.
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, pastor at the United Church in Harrow, Ontario. http://www.harrowunited.org/ Each day in Advent, a different letter of the English Alphabet will be a jumping off place for a reflection. These reflections will be sent out via email to those who have asked to be on the mailing list, and will also be posted to Rev. Darrow’s Facebook page.


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