What's to come

We cannot go back, but we can go forward

Is it me, or does the uncertainty of our time continue to loom over us bigger than many of us have personally experienced in our life? More than ever we realize not only do we belong to each other, but we literally hold each other’s lives in our hands. And all too often, we have been careless and cavelier with the lives of those outside our immediate circle, something we can see all too easily in recent events and the way too many people have treated the pandemic.

I hear people talk about “getting back to normal” and on one level I know they mean just being able to go out and do things again, gather with friends, catch-up over coffee perhaps in person, things we took for granted. But in another sense that normal is forever gone and we cannot get it back. From the standpoint of how many people are missing due to criminal negligence and mismanagement of the pandemic at the state (in some cases) and federal level, we cannot go back. And from the standpoint of the existing injustices this pandemic made all the more plain, we also cannot go back.

All of us must strive to go forward. For true restoration is about a return to right relationship, something we’ve never really had, but something we can strive for if we operate out of principles of equity, justice, and abundance.

Join me for an Advent series of reflections called “A Place to Belong” based on the idea of true restoration, right relationship, and discovering that we are all intrinsically worthy.

My regular fortnightly Friday news letter will be on hiatus until January 8th. In the meantime, expect special, subscriber only issues four sundays in a row from the 29th of November through the 20th of December.

If you haven’t yet subscribed and you’d like to but the monthly fee is a burden, please just email me at annaelisabethhoward@gmail.com and let me know and I will comp you a subscription, I don’t want the fee to ever be a barrier to anyone.

A Place to Belong Overview

Advent 1 | November 29, 2020

Isaiah 64:1-9 | Psalm 80:1-7, 16-18

A Different Restoration

True restoration is about right relationship. Rather than a return to the status quo, true restoration disrupts the status quo.

Artwork: “Long Walk to the Fire” by Carsten Ten Brink

Advent 2 | December 6, 2020

Isaiah 40:1-11 | Psalm 85 1-2, 8-13 | 2 Peter 3:13

Where Righteousness is at Home

The goal of restoration must be to create a place where righteousness is at home. 

Artwork: “Love and Faithfulness Meet” Relief Sculpture St. Michael’s Church Golden Grove, Wales

Advent 3 | December 13, 2020

Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11

The Gospel for Everyone

Restoration looks different as a promise when it is made to the people who are oppressed. 

Artwork: “Sustainability” Mural in Adelaide, Australia

Advent 4 | December 20, 2020

Luke 1:26-38 and the Magnificat

Already Worthy

Following the example of Mary, trusting that God has made us worthy already, we can be co-conspirators with God in an upending of the social hierarchies of our time, pursuing justice and equity for all peoples.

Artwork: “The Annunciation-Gabriel and Mary” by JESUS MAFA