Public Witness

Advent Invitations

Allison Tanner

November 29, 2022

During Advent we remember Mary and Joseph’s travels to Bethlehem as they navigated their way through occupation and oppression. We retell their story of rejection in their time of great need as well as the support they received from unexpected community. As we journey through Advent this year, we also remember Palestinians who continue to navigate their way through occupation, oppression, and rejection, as well as the invitation to be part of their community of support.

The most recent ask from our Palestinian siblings is to acknowledge that the harsh realities they are enduring constitute apartheid and to join our voices with the many human rights groups and denominations who have already named this. Palestinian Christians and their international Christian partners have written A dossier on Israeli Apartheid: A Pressing Call to Churches Around the World. I invite you to join me in a three-part Advent study of this document. The series will take place on Tuesday evenings from 6-7 on Dec. 6, 13 and 20 and repeated on Wednesday mornings from 10:30-11:30 on Dec 7, 14 and 21. We will explore the following themes:

  • Apartheid and the Palestinian Experience – hearing their cries
  • Biblical and Theological Reflections – uniting in faith
  • Faithful Responses – incarnating Advent’s promises

On December 4, Lakeshore will participate in the Preach Palestine project, a national effort to highlight our Palestinian siblings during Advent. This service will be a worshipful grounding for our Bible Study. The Public Witness Forum on December 4 will be a sermon talk-back and discussion of the many ways we can join in solidarity with Palestinians this Advent season.

Advent reminds us of the powerful promises of hope, peace, joy, and love. This year we will embrace these themes for ourselves and for our world, following the leadership of those who continue to live in and near Bethlehem, and throughout the world.