Advent's offer of
a 'Great Reset'
Season invites us to see things differently
By Jason Whitehead
We are creatures of habit. We like predictability and embrace routines, many of which provide a measure of stability when the world shifts around us. The experience of living in a pandemic for most of 2020, though, has disrupted any predictability in our lives. The senseless deaths of Black men and women brought attention to an epidemic of racism, calling into question assumptions we made about the world. Add to these destabilizing circumstances the sheltering-in-place guidelines that brought the inability to physically go to the places that have given us a respite from the world, and we have a recipe for ongoing fear, anger and distress.
It is safe to say that 2020 has been a year no one wanted. However, that doesn't mean it has to be a lost year. I've heard some people refer to 2020 as the "Great Reset" - a time to take stock of our lives, offering a chance to inventory how we live, move and breathe, in order to become the people God calls us to be.
The Advent season is perfect for exploring the possibility of a reset. This season has always been about the Savior sent to reset the world. And every year, we remember a revolutionary act of love that gives us pause and shows us what it means to be disciples. For millennia, we have celebrated a season that glorifies change and calls us to soften our hearts to the world and people around us.
This year, though, we need to be intentional in the spiritual practice of resetting our lives. Many of us will not be returning to physical worship spaces for Advent as the health risks are still too great, and so we must actively seek the holy among us. For that to happen, we must be willing to look around the same house or apartment and at the same people, see them with new eyes, as well as hear them with new ears. This resetting is in itself a revolutionary act of love.
A new tradition amid both joy and sorrow
Everyday God-Talk concerts for Advent and Christmas produce mournfulness and hopeful beauty
By Paul Seebeck
Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE - After seeing the latest edition of Everyday God-Talk
, the Rev. Dr. David Gambrell, associate for Worship in the Office of Theology and Worship, was filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and rejoicing.
"Wow," he wrote in an email to the guests. "What a joy to see and hear you all, not to mention your insightful comments. I'm ready for Advent. Thank you for this outstanding gift to the church."
Everyday God-Talk host So Jung Kim, the PC(USA)'s associate for Theology, said she herself needed a concert during the seasons of Advent and Christmas this year. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, she won't be able to be with her family in South Korea this year.
"We're all in isolation and our church services will be online, which creates an even greater feeling of distance," Kim said.