Yes, There is Hope! An Advent Message

Yes, There is Hope! An Advent Message

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This piece is adapted from a sermon Rev. Ross delivered at West Gloucester Trinitarian Congregational Church (MA) on Sunday, February 12.

One of actress Mabel King’s shining moments in the 1978 film “The Wiz” is when she sings “Don’t Nobody Bring Me No Bad News.”

The choruses walk through a variety of scenarios, always ending with the exclamation captured in the song’s title. It is an apt ditty for the film that is a reimagining of L. Frank Baum’s classic children’s novel “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” features an all-Black cast, and is loosely adapted from a 1974 Broadway musical by the same name.

If we are honest, many of us will admit that we want to shout the words at the core of this song. We also want to ask: Is there any good news?
 
  • We are already two years into the COVID-19 pandemic. Is there any good news?
  • The epidemic of white supremacy and structural racism continues, and we see disparate impacts and outcomes based on race in virtually every area of American life. Is there any good news?
  • In countries throughout the world, there are wars and rumors of wars, migration crises, environmental disasters, and more. Is there any good news?
  • At least 76 people are confirmed dead after a series of tornadoes late Friday and early Saturday tore through Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee, Missouri, and Arkansas. There is not yet a complete picture of the extent of devastation these storms have wrought. My God, is there any good news?
The answer, without doubt, is yes!  

As Mary awaited the birth of Jesus, she sang, "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.”

As we await the coming Christ, whom we already know, may we have joy like Mary.
May we recall all the ways in which God has made Godself known in our lives. May we know that when we follow in the ways of this Mighty One, we will help bring forth a more just, peaceable, transformed world.

I know that you are committed. My prayer this season is that in the moments when you feel tired, lonely, alone, or without hope, you will find yourself wrapped in God’s warm embrace and that it will lead your heart to rejoice.

Remember to rest and recharge. I look forward to our continued work together in 2022 and beyond.
 
Blessings and power!

 

Author

jdr head shot .jpg
James D. Ross II

Rev. Ross is the Minister for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for the Southern New England Conference UCC.

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