The words came in a text from one of my older three children as part of their update for me on a political rally they attended where the police were called. The story being given by the media was not reflective of the actual happenings...#fakenews #staywoke.
The Urban Dictionary says the term "stay woke" is derived from "staying awake" it means to "keep yourself informed of the storm going on around you in times of turmoil and conflict."
Advent is about staying woke and it is not comfortable in many ways.
Yesterday in the Sunday morning class my husband teaches at church we asked the question, "How many of you dread or hate the Christmas season?" and multiple hands went up in the room. When asked why we heard that December, Advent, brings with it memories of loss, pain and emptiness running alongside demands, busyness and expectations.
I believe the Christmas season shines a light on the realties of what we hold in our hearts and carry in our bodies all year long. During the rest of the year we may be more easily able to avoid the feelings of loss, pain and emptiness. At Christmastime we have to work much harder to shut those feelings down because the music, the decorations and familiar traditions all seem to stir up what we often prefer to keep quiet.
Christmas pokes at us to wake up and to "stay woke" to our actual lives.
When I stay woke what I find is that my heart is more aware of the ache inside to what simply defines Advent, "Come Lord Jesus."
Come...into my sadness, into my loss, into my hungry heart. Come to my table, to my family to my church.
Come Lord Jesus to the fearful places stirred by the threat of nuclear war with North Korea, to the ravaged halls of the public and private sector where the reality of sexual abuse and harassment screams loudly, come to our social media feeds drowning in division and discouragement. Come to the millions of people exploited by human trafficking. Come to the women daily being harmed by gender based violence, Come to the Rohenga who have no place to call home.
Stay woke friends.
And then remember that you are the message bearer, living and breathing and sharing the good news in every encounter you have today.