Listen to Rev. Dr. R, Lawton Higgs, Sr. talk about the need to preach about restorative justice in our churches during this Advent season. Our churches need to reflect the diversity celebrated in the mural titled A New Day in Old Birmingham by Ronald Scott McDowell celebrates Birmingham as a melting pot of ideas and cultures. It is located on the first floor of the Central Library in downtown Birmingham, Alabama.
First Sunday of Advent Light
Jeremiah 33: 14-16 – The Lord is our righteousness.
Psalm 25: 1-10 – Reconstruct Alabama out of all its troubles.
I Thessalonians 3: 9-13 – Love, the strength to be blameless.
Luke 21: 25-36 – God’s word will not pass away.
Visuals: The White Supremacist murals on the walls of the Jefferson County Courthouse and the multicultural democracy on the wall of the Birmingham Public Library.
As the white supremacist murals on the wall of the Jefferson County Courthouse make clear, Alabama, from its beginning, has held a flawed social and political covenant. A covenant that has produced devastating trails of tears from violence, injustice and oppression. Alabama’s covenant has been and is a covenant of slavery, Jim Crow, racism, sexism and homophobia. This white supremacist covenant has also been falsely baptized as the Christian hope, Alabama’s most devastating and corrupt sin. The White Protestant Church in Alabama is the most ardent supporter of the covenant reflected in the courthouse murals.
Advent is a time when we look before and beyond the State of Alabama to a more colorful, just and enduring covenant of compassion and restorative justice for all; a covenant that gives the light of the love and peace of the coming of the Christ for all flesh, a covenant that shall endure forever. This light enables us to see that the Lord is our righteousness, that all are loved equally, a love that will reconstruct Alabama from all slavery, Jim Crow, racism, sexism and homophobia. The eternal light of Advent gives us the strength to be blameless in a true covenant of human dignity and human rights for all Alabamians. The hope of this Advent light is reflected in the multicultural mural on the wall of the Birmingham Public Library.
Talk to your pastor about the meaning of Advent and challenge him or her to preach on the restorative justice and multicultural democracy the coming of the Christ gives to all.