We look backwards as we look forward. Advent is the time that we remember both what Jesus Christ has given us, and what we still have to look forward to when he comes again. We reflect on how we have lived faithfully—and unfaithfully—and how we might live forward in God’s image.

It is my hope during this time of political disarray and confusion that all the world’s people, especially those of us in the US, will look backwards to seek forgiveness for past transgressions and acknowledge the wounds of racism, hatred, greed, and inequity. At the same time, I hope that we will all look forward to renew our faith in God and commit to doing our part to create a more just and love-filled world. More than ever, we must remember that Jesus calls us to love our neighbors, regardless of how different they are from us, as ourselves.

During Advent, we anticipate. We long. We yearn for a better world where God’s love is ever present in all our hearts and souls. And we hold our hope in faith that that world will come.