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A season of Hope

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Advent is a four-week period in the Christian Church in which the church anticipates the birth of Christ on Christmas Day—historicity aside. (This year Joseph Atwill’s well-publicised research argued there was no actual person who was Jesus the Christ; in addition there is the common understanding that, had He been born at all, it wouldn’t have been on December 25. Many Christmas traditions are based on the non-Christian celebrations of the winter solstice.) 


Advent, in the church, revolves around some key images and ideas: it is a season of preparation as we wait for the birth of the baby in the manger, but it is also the time when we read of John the Baptist, Jesus’ putative cousin, crying in the wilderness that the (adult) Christ is coming to save humanity from itself. Christians think of Advent as a time of hope. I think at Advent of a time of Hope. 


Hope Arismendez, to be precise. Hope, Sean, Akeil, Amy, and now Keyana, join a kind of horror reel in my mind, especially at this time of year, precisely because of the contrast of our veneration, churchical and secular alike, of an infant while in real life we beat, rape, ignore and generally savage our own children. On Christmas Eve, when I was 11 years old, I told my mother I was being molested by a close older relative.


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