For our churches, perhaps the zombie Jesus memes might cause us to pause and recognize where we have lost our purpose as followers of Christ. Are we following the one who rose from the dead and leads us into new life now, or are we continuing to consume resources to perpetuate old models of ministry that feed ourselves and not the world in need of Christ around us?
Understanding family systems theory helps us to self-differentiate and remember that we are important and valued for who we are as people, as children of God. While we have different skills and gifts for ministry, the burden should not be solely on our clergy or on one group of leaders.
This Advent, may we recognize that Christ is already among us, already at work. We are called to proclaim it: a child has been born for us, a son given to us; Emmanuel, God is with us. God is still with us. We already know the address. The world, however, is still using outdated methods to find its way. The world is still recalculating. There is still injustice, oppression, violence, suffering, and fear—much as in the time Jesus was born—but we know the way. We have the Good News. The journey isn’t complete, but in our faith in Christ, we have arrived at our destination. Christ is among us, now and always.
“What is grief, if not love persevering?” This quote from the show “WandaVision” has been shared so often on social media because grief is something that strikes us all. Even Jesus experienced grief.
A close friend of mine died from colon cancer at the beginning of September. COVID-19 kept us from meeting in person. It kept some family from gathering in person. It kept friends from giving each other hugs. However, it didn’t stop us from assembling together and seeing each other’s faces. It didn’t stop us from praying. It didn’t stop us from sharing memories and photos and honoring our friend’s life. It didn’t stop us from caring for the family grieving.