The Advent of Justice

Back when I was working on my PhD in Canada I was asked to contribute to a book of Advent meditations in honor of Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ), a Canadian justice organization run by Christians. To that end Sylvia Keesmaat, Brian Walsh, Mark VanderVennen, and I each wrote meditations for one of the four weeks of Advent readings from the daily Lectionary (seven meditations apiece); all of us had been involved in some way with this important justice organization.

I had been personally impacted by CPJ, including their published literature on a Christian approach to the political sphere and the helpful guides they provided to the various issues as each Canadian election approached. I was also impressed by their political advocacy in the name of Christ on behalf of those negatively affected by unjust social policies in the context of our modern consumer society. CPJ had been an important voice in helping me think through the political implications of my own Christian faith.

Since the Old Testament readings for that Advent season all focused on passages from Isaiah, which connected faith with justice, we decided to make this the focus of our meditations, while also drawing connections to the Gospel readings for each day.

These meditations were published back in 1993 by the CJL Foundation (an arm of CPJ), as a short book called The Advent of Justice. That book was then adopted by the Anglican Diocese of Toronto as an Advent study guide for that year.

A well-known Toronto artist, Willem (Bill) Hart, graciously contributed watercolors for the book cover and as introductions to each week’s meditations.

The Advent of Justice was reprinted the following year (1994) by Dordt College Press; and it’s been used on and off by lots of different people over the years as a guide to reflecting on the meaning of the Advent season.

The Advent of Justice has just been reprinted by Wipf and Stock publishers in time for this year’s Advent season. I was delighted that Northeastern Seminary decided to give copies away at their annual alumni reception (held a week ago). And they have just this past week posted my own Advent reflections from the book (with permission from the publisher) on the Northeastern Seminary website.

For anyone interested, the post for the first day of the week (Sunday) can be found here. The posts for the other days (Monday through Saturday) can be accessed from the right hand column of the website.

A flyer about the book can be accessed here.

Wishing you a blessed and meaningful Advent season.

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