Advent | December 20, 2017
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Christ Is Already among Us

This Advent, we’ve been waiting for the Incarnation. We’ve been longing for the Creator of everything to break into our tumultuous world in the cry of a humble baby.

Yet Scripture teaches the paradoxical truth that even as we wait for Christ, he is already among us. He comes to us in our neighbors—those who are hungry, thirsty, imprisoned, sick, far from home (Matt. 25:31-46).

This past year, OSJ staff have caught glimpses of Christ as we have called out for justice with marginalized neighbors affected by climate change, by global conflicts, by inhumane and ineffective immigration laws.

We see Christ incarnate today . . .

. . . in the commitment of Palestinian Christian leaders and their partners seeking peace in their homeland. God is still very much at work in Israel and the Palestinian territories.
—Shannon Jammal-Hollemans

. . . in a young ESL student, budding with confidence as she finishes reading a book in English. She reads to her mother the new adventures she has discovered between ink and paper. On that day, the written word becomes alive in her life.
—Reggie Smith

. . . in the ways that people are having grace-filled conversations with their loved ones about justice issues to raise awareness and talk about ways to take action and organize together toward a more just world.
—Paola Fuentes Gleghorn

. . . in those who depend on God daily to both stand together against systems of oppression and choose to love and forgive, over and over again, those who don’t see the need for change. Speaking the truth in love is a high calling.
—Danielle Steenwyk-Rowaan

. . . in the church basement, at a workshop on immigration: a church member listens intently to the words of a person who disagrees with her on politics. She learns, and respects, and still disagrees—and she embodies unity in the midst of the division the world so ardently insists should separate us.
—Kate Kooyman

. . . in Dreamers who are bravely sharing their stories, and in allies who are standing alongside them, persistently calling on Congress to pass the Dream Act for Christmas.
—Kelsey Herbert

. . . in the OSJ staff around me who constantly exemplify grace and show humility, whose hearts break for people and yearn for justice. I see Christ incarnate as they seek the kingdom of God and the will of the Father, and prepare the way for the return of the King.
—Danielle Chun

. . . in the faces of women coming forward to tell their stories of sexual abuse and harassment.
—Lynn Setsma

. . . in the 50+ faith-based organizations in Washington, D.C., who are working hard to seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with their God (Mic. 6:8) during a difficult time for the U.S.
—Gary Mulder

. . . in the statement of Christians and others that says we are “still in,” even when the U.S. government is pulling out of the effort by every other nation of the world to protect the most vulnerable from the harm caused by climate change.
—Rich Killmer

. . . in our Climate Witness Project regional mobilizers. They embody the hope that one day all things will be made new, and they combine it with an urgency to care for creation and to demonstrate God’s love to our neighbors right now.
—Kris VanEngen

This Christmas season, thanks to a generous donor, you have the opportunity to double the impact of your gifts to support this work of solidarity and advocacy, particularly through the work of the Climate Witness Project. Through this project we help CRC congregations and members to stand with the vulnerable people who are the first to be affected by climate change. Make your year-end gift go even further by donating to the Climate Witness Project!

To give to other OSJ programs, donate here.

May you, too, catch glimpses of Christ this Christmas, and may God give us all strength to wait, pray, and work in the tension of the “already but not yet.”