Keep Watch With Me: Advent & Peacemaking

Red Letter Christians | 12/14/2019 | Michael McRay
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EDITOR’S NOTE: The following excerpt, by Michael T. McRay, is from the brand new book Keep Watch with Me: An Advent Reader for Peacemakers, which features several Red Letter Christian writers.

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” – Matthew 24:42

Peacemaker - Teams - Hebron - City - West

When I worked with Christian Peacemaker Teams in Hebron, the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank, one of our primary responsibilities was being present for confrontations between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian civilians. We needed to film and document all acts of aggression, hoping that international eyes looking might deter violence.

We needed to keep watch.

United - States - Years - Divisions - Country

For those of us in the United States, the last few years have particularly highlighted the deep divisions scarring our country. Many of us yearn for a better world, and we wonder how long we can wait.

Advent is all about waiting. It is about patience, expectation, and longing. We wait in hope for the arrival of something better than what we have now. This is a joyful hope.

Advent - Ache - Longing - Experiences - Friends

But Advent is about ache too, because longing and waiting are also painful experiences. For our exiled friends in prison longing for freedom, for our oppressed brothers and sisters waiting for justice, for our loved ones on the streets dreaming of a warm home, waiting is agony.

Both Advent and peacemaking are experiences of hope, and hope is the stuff of survival. It’s little wonder people who live in places of suffering are often filled with great hope and joy. As one Palestinian friend said to me, “What choice do we have but to hope? The alternative is death.”

(Excerpt) Read more at: Red Letter Christians
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