In this time of Covid-19, waiting seems like an eternity. Waiting for a time when we need not be afraid. But, in this time of Advent, we wait for the coming of Jesus – the Day of the Lord – when “(s)teadfast love and faithfulness will meet; (and) righteousness and peace will kiss each other (Psalm 85:10)”. What does God’s love, faithfulness, righteousness and peace look like today in this time of Black Lives Matter?
Let’s focus on righteousness. Righteousness is an active state of seeing injustice, recognizing who we are in relationship to injustice, and doing what is right, or doing justice. This means taking the blinders off, examining our beliefs in our own “goodness”, our fears and greed, and our complicity in perpetuating the ways, systems, and structures that oppress others, particularly Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC). It means giving up those beliefs, acknowledging our own unearned privilege, and actively working toward justice, by dismantling the systems of oppression, so that those who are unrightfully hurt or wronged are restored and given back what was taken from them.
Waiting means preparing, being ready. Isaiah calls us to “(p)repare the way of the Lord” by lifting up those in the depths, bringing down the high places, and leveling the unevenness or the inequity that exists. Don’t look for God’s love in the high places and the temples of money, power, religion; instead, look in the wilderness, outside of your comfort zone, where those who are oppressed live.
God is patient, so that all will be made whole, and there will be “new heavens and a new earth (2 Peter 3:13)”. As we wait for God, let us strive for true peace, which is “not the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice. (Martin Luther King, Jr.)”.
Old First Presbyterian Church, Ruling Elder
Japanese American, Member of Old First for 39 years. Retired from a land use and master planning career. Raised in Hawaii. On a lifelong journey to be an Antiracist. Married with an adult daughter.