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Weekly Advent Reflections from Matthew 25 Initiative

Over the six weeks from Advent through Christmastide and finally to Epiphany, the Matthew 25 Initiative, with the help of a saint, scripture, and information, is leaning into the goodness of the gospel that stands against sorrow and suffering. Their focus is on vulnerable children and youth and the power we have to mend broken hearts. The Bright Light has come. Is coming. Advent is afoot.

Below we have provided the first reflection. If you would like the upcoming artwork and reflections to arrive in your inbox throughout this season, please click here to sign up.

The First Week of Advent: Hope Where Light Falters

See Jesus. See our world. That we would love.

The Bible was written in the context of suffering and poverty, forced migration and oppression. After 400 years of biblical silence, Christ’s birth took place in Roman territory, when the Jews faced:

  • High infant mortality
  • Malnutrition
  • Illiteracy
  • Food insecurity
  • Crime
  • Discrimination
  • Poorer civilians often relegated to working alongside slaves
  • Debt due to high taxes leading the poor to selling themselves or their child into slavery

The historical conditions of biblical times were messy, unjust, and saturated with suffering. Into this world Jesus was born, after Mary almost faced single-teen motherhood. The holy family weathered homelessness in Bethlehem, poverty, and then finally flight as refugees to Egypt.

The light of Christ’s birth cracks into history’s darkness. “If you don’t understand the depth of the darkness in the world, you will not understand the mission of God” explained Dr. Daniel Carroll Rodas leading the M25i Bible Study. The power of the light becomes real as we face the world’s great need for the warmth and the radiance of God.

So let’s allow ourselves to be captured by the beauty of the glory of Christ as we look unflinchingly at the darkness. To see Advent through the eyes of M25i will surprise, delight, sober, inspire, and all unto joy and shalom. Let’s do this together.

Over the next six weeks, from Advent to Christmastide to Epiphany and with the help of a saint, scripture, and information, we will lean into the goodness of the Gospel that stands against sorrow and suffering. Our focus will be on vulnerable children and youth and the power we as Christ-followers have to mend broken hearts. The Bright Light has come. Is coming. Advent is afoot.

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