On this third Sunday of Advent, part of me misses the routine of attending Sunday morning services, seeing familiar faces, and engaging in corporate worship. Another part of me is adamant about separating myself from my evangelical past. I have a host of reasons, but a common thread is evangelicalism’s literalist, binary interpretation of Scripture — who is in & who is out, what is right & what is wrong. These dualistic judgments often seem in contradiction with what Christ taught on neighborly love, compassion, humility, kindness, and gentleness. Plus, I see this approach as far too limiting for the Creator of the universe. Life isn’t all black-and-white; grayscales are what add nuance and interest.
Rather than sitting in a pew this advent season, I have chosen to quietly reflect using the devotional, “The Season of Waiting,” by (another former Winnipegger) Kate Bowler. Despite feeling so estranged from the church, it has helped me remain connected with my faith as Christmas approaches. O come, O come, Emmanuel.