Why Advent?: Exploring the Reasons Behind the Advent Project

With Reverence and Hope, the upcoming inaugural essay collection from Reconciling Earth came from my personal interest in exploring the relationship between my own faith and work as a climate activist.

Though the country chapel I went to as a child celebrated the season of Advent with the lighting of candles, I don’t remember many of the specifics. In my current spiritual journey, I have been studying the rituals of Christian tradition that I had limited exposure to in evangelicalism.

That may not answer the question I’ve posed in the title of this article.

Why Advent?

One of the things I appreciate about Advent is the symbolism of lighting candles in anticipation of receiving the greatest light: Jesus. The fact that this season of waiting coincides with darkest part of the year challenges us to consider how we can have hope in dark times.

With Reverence and Hope asks the writers, artists, and readers to consider their own relationship with hoping in dark times. As the effects of the climate crisis continue to become more and more severe, having hope that the world can become a reconciled place is a radical action. Just as the shepherds respond to the message of the angel by going to Bethlehem and seeing “this thing that [had] come to pass, which the Lord [had] made known to [them],” we can respond to God’s call to all of humanity to be stewards of his creation (2:8-20).

Stewardship Begins with Reflection

For a long time, I didn’t understand the purpose of our human call to be stewards of creation. Now, as I work on my Master’s thesis and begin to more serious study my own calling, I’ve realized that much of my newfound action in stewardship has stemmed from self-reflection that challenges my old notions of what it means to care for creation.

With Reverence and Hope aims to challenge how we perceive and interact with Earth, as well as how we form and build connections with one another. Our soul begs for this type of spiritual nourishment, which can be an impetus to act.

The writings in this collections will ask us how we can use the Advent season and our spirituality to reconnect with divine Creation. I know it’s possible.

Interested in working on In Reverence and Hope? We are currently accepting submissions for essays, artwork, and photography.

Wanting to write for Reconciling Earth? We are currently looking for regular contributors to our online magazine.