#Occupy: An Advent Series

This Sunday marks the first Sunday of the season of Advent. It's a time of waiting and longing for our Savior. It's a time of tension. As we look around at our broken world, Black Friday deals are vying for our attention while violence rages on street corners and across borders, while children are sold into sex slavery and the poverty and unemployment rates are rising with each passing month. We look around at a world where 1 billion people lack access to clean water and where 25,000 people will die today due to hunger and related causes. During the tension of Advent, we cry out:

Where are you, God?

When is enough, enough?

How long do we have to wait until the universe is mended?

How long until all is right in the world?

So you've probably heard about the #Occupy movement that has swept the country. It's polarizing. We get that. But as we were planning our series, we were drawn to this term, "Occupy." Because at its core, Advent is all about waiting ... and what are we waiting for if not for God to occupy all of creation? So we decided to go with it and name our Advent series, #Occupy.

Does this mean we're endorsing the #Occupy movement? No. We're not endorsing one side or another. We're not taking sides. But we're also not a community to shy away from what's going on in the world. Theologian Karl Barth once said, "We must hold the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other."

The overall message of the #Occupy movement is that something's not right. There's something wrong with the way things are ... and we're moving forward with the hope that things will change. This is the message of Advent. All is not right in the world. But we move forward (toward Christmas) in and with hope.

If you have any questions about the series, shoot us an email (riseharrisonburg@gmail.com), text us or give us a call (540-324-3241). As you probably know by now, we think dialogue is pretty awesome and conversations often lead to growth and mutual understanding. It's good stuff and it's what community is all about.

We hope to see you this Sunday at exactly 10(ish) at Court Square Theater and we're looking forward to journeying through the season of Advent with you. You are a gift.