Advent and Expectations | Sojourners

Advent and Expectations

Advent candles lit round the world declare our longing for the coming of Christ. We wait. And, in our waiting we hope, we pray, we yearn. Advent is a season where our energies and passions for all things to be made right are kindled. Christ, the precious Baby in the manger, is coming for us all to celebrate. Consider Him.

Despite the hunger, the fatherless, the ailing. Despite the wars and senseless violence. Despite all of the reasons to say there is no redeemer.

We wait for the Christ child.

Our faith is rooted in such anticipation. Mockers have innumerable examples to declare the reasons why God is dead. Centuries of proof. Holocausts, molestation, shame. The Church waits despite its own pollution and contribution to the lack of justice.

Yet these things merely point to the coming of the Child. If the world were made right by our collective longings for occupation, for the 99 percent, for cosmic good, we’d see equitable dispersion of wealth, of food, of housing. We’d live the Marxist dream of community. We would all be haves.

Not in this state of lack that propels the protesters in Washington. Protest — the greedy 1 percent. Protest — we need equity. Protest — there’s a better way.

Christ is coming and our waiting each year illustrates he is that much more necessary to make all things well. We await the feeble baby, the child God. Much like our faith we may wonder how can this be? This fragile God. So easily broken. Could He deliver us all?

The paradox points each year to the need for freedom. We wait for liberty. To deliver the sexually oppressed. To expose the darkened / hidden (for now) deeds of predators. To reveal truth from a swarm of lies. Free us Baby Jesus. Your tender body will be broken for these malevolent, even misanthropic, souls whose schemes are weaker than our doubts.

All these and more. But we must add to the list, free us from our limited perspectives that fail to grasp Your ways.

And, God laughs. He smiles upon our frailties. Our collective frustrations and doubts of His deliverance. He chose to be nascent. God infantile. Our machinations for social justice unravel in the presence of this luminescent One. For Baby Jesus came to be the Light of the World.

Advent allows us to realign our expectations to His plan. Social justice will not happen in the way that we devise. If God came as this baby Jesus, how will God right all things wrong? It will not be as we expect. Set aside this Advent all of the energies and willful works. Set aside the frustrations to make this world a better place. Set aside the occupations. Baby Jesus is coming. His justice comes swiftly. And slowly. Soon, but not now. Swiftly like a tiny newborn’s might. Paradoxes for sure. Our mysterious God — baby Jesus.

Yet none did defeat Him. All of hell’s powers combined did not turn Him away from the Resurrection. But that’s for another Holy day.

For now we cry out, “Amen. Come Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20)  Hear our cries for social justice as we wait for your coming.

Michael D. Bobo has written as Christian Literature Examiner for and has contributed to Burnside Writers CollectiveEmergent Village Voice and He is delighted to serve as curator of Daily Burnsider and Poetry Editor for Burnside Writers.

 Photo: Hourglass, © Mihai Simonia | View Portfolio /

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