Resurrection City DC is an intentionally diverse, LGBTQ+ affirming, pro-Black, anti-racist, progressive Christian church where all are invited to ask hard questions, be honest about doubt, and engage in a communal process of deconstruction, reconstruction, and decolonization in the Way of Jesus. LGBTQ faith Anti-Racism Decolonize Equality Dignity Gospel Progressive Christianity

Resurrection City DC is an intentionally diverse, LGBTQ+ affirming, pro-Black, anti-racist, progressive Christian church where all are invited to ask hard questions, be honest about doubt, and engage in a communal process of deconstruction, reconstruction, and decolonization in the Way of Jesus. LGBTQ faith Anti-Racism Decolonize Equality Dignity Gospel Progressive Christianity

Resurrection City DC is an intentionally diverse, LGBTQ+ affirming, pro-Black, anti-racist, progressive Christian church where all are invited to ask hard questions, be honest about doubt, and engage in a communal process of deconstruction, reconstruction, and decolonization in the Way of Jesus. LGBTQ faith Anti-Racism Decolonize Equality Dignity Gospel Progressive Christianity

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This Advent there will be more talk than ever about light and hope. This week the Dow Jones Industrial average hit a record high just as the numbers of people waiting at food banks produced photographs like none seen since the Great Depression. We cannot afford to pass another Thanksgiving and enter another season of Christmas with the master’s tools in our hands. We must embrace the hope that is only created in community -- the hope rooted in desperation. We must speak of hope in new ways and practice it with others for the liberation of all. And we must remember that the radiance of the glory of God somehow both pierces the darkness and partners with it. Light and hope. Radiance and desperation. The risk and reward of community. May these disturb us and warm us this Advent season.

With election day nearly upon us, the question is not which candidate is fit for our hope. We will make our calculations and cast our votes. The question is whether we will surrender to the gravity of desperation that leads to creative action regardless of our individual hope -- not because we know we will win, but because we must find new rhythms and rituals in the struggle for a more just world and in the struggle to remain human. There seem to be moments when hope will not save our souls, but the creative action born of desperation just might. Perhaps, this is one of them.

I return to the lessons I learned as a teacher going to work in the early morning darkness -- spiritual lessons that feel like solid ground as I contemplate the death of hope. Barbara Brown Taylor puts those lessons into words when she eloquently writes that, “Sometimes the light is coming, and sometimes it is going. Sometimes the moon is full, and sometimes it is nowhere to be found. There is nothing capricious about this variety since it happens on a regular basis [...] But humans do not easily relinquish control over how dark or bright it is, either in our houses or in our souls.” 

Some years back, I came across a poem by Cesar Vallejo called “I Am Going to Speak of Hope.” From beginning to end, the poem recounts the pain of the speaker. The poem and the pain are unrelenting. It is pain that is “neither a father nor a son” -- pain so deep that if “placed in a dark room it would shed no light, and placed in a bright one, it would cast no shadow.” Every word of the poem is dedicated to expressing pain. Yet, the title gives away the poet’s purpose. The very act of naming what seems endlessly difficult -- of what is uncomfortable and unfinished and full of sharp edges -- is an act of hope.