Posts tagged holiday
Attributed to Carel Fabritius

Attributed to Carel Fabritius

I've seen a lot of great baby announcements. Families are becoming increasingly creative, setting the bar high for future parents-to-be. Yet. None of have been able to top this:

"Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.' And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: 'Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!'" Luke 2:8-14 

Now that is a baby announcement! In the darkness. On just another day. During business as usual. Something miraculous happens. An announcement is made. It is so glorious that one angel is simply not enough to deliver it. A host an angels fill the sky worshipping God- proclaiming peace on earth. Even though it is in the darkness on just another day during business as usual. 

The shepherds react. Who wouldn't?! How will they find the baby? Not by seeking the fanciest home. Not by asking directions to the path of the rich and famous. Not by finding the most impressive, most expansive, most expensive of anything. A manger. Swaddling clothes. Seems a little anti-climatic doesn't it? Host of angels. Manger. Its a rather unexpected place to find Christ the Lord in the darkness on just another day during business as usual. 

But they do. They find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, just as the angels declared. Incredibly moved, they must tell everyone. This is good news. News of good tidings. News of great joy. News that is desperately needed in the darkness on just another day during business as usual. 

And once they finish declaring it. Once they have told everyone they can think of- anyone who will listen... they return. They return to the darkness, to the day, to the work. 

This Advent season has been filled with the violent darkness of every day- of unarmed killings of black people, of no indictment decisions, the stark divisions and racial warring. We do the work of activism and protest, of writing and speaking, of artistry and teaching, of reading and witnessing, of studying and producing. In the darkness this is just another day, business as usual.  But we know the good news of Christ who saves. And in a few days we celebrate this Christ with intention and purpose. This Christ who made himself low, who came into the world with the sound of angels only to be wrapped in bands of cloth. We will pause. We will celebrate. 

And then we will return to our work. Remembering the good news. Faces still turned toward the heavens. We will keep work toward peace on earth till the Christ makes makes a second grand entrance. 

Merry Christmas, Everyone. 


A Thanksgiving Powerpoint for Family

So yesterday, I posted a little Facebook status update very concerned for some of my white friends who would be with extended family for the holiday. Just by looking at the comment section of their own pages, it was clear there might be some contention over recent events in the news. After posting the following update, my own comment section brought me great joy! Check it out! 

Austin: Ooowwweee. Some of you are going to have some interesting conversations at the dinner table tomorrow. And by interesting I mean *terrible*. Christ be with you. (And maybe you should bring some books and powerpoint presentation on systemic injustice).

  • Abi: Someone needs to create a Systemic Injustice for Relatives slideshow, quick.

  • Austin What should it include, Abi? Oh, this could be fun...

  • Austin: Slide 1: slavery and capitalism

  • Abby: I have one on my teacher computer that is like "power who has it" that I use. .. should have brought it! (Who has the power is a question we ask fit lots of books

  • Abi: Slide 2: Slavery and Evangelicalism

  • Austin: Slide 3: Jim Crow and how you grandparents *really* gained wealth

  • Abi: Slide 4: History of the Police Force

  • Austin:  Slide 5: The fallacy of "black on black" crime

  • Austin: Abi, I think we may be on to something lol

  • Abi: Seriously, if someone makes this I will start bringing an overhead projector everywhere I go

  • Austin: Ha! I love it.

  • Abi: Slides 6-22: White Privilege

  • Jason: I like your Pedagogy for the Christmas Sweaters, y'all

  • Austin: Slides 23-25: defining whiteness, white superiority and anti blackness edited for more space 

  • Abi: Slide 24: "Post-Racial" America, or, How Can There Still Be Racism If We Have a Black President?

  • Jessica: Slide 25: "Dominant culture narratives"

  • Austin: Slide 26: No more monoliths- not all black people are the same. Plus another slide on the difference between loving black culture and loving black people

  • Abi: Slide 27: But I Don't Hate Black People! Racism as practice, not emotion

  • Austin: *slow clap*

  • Austin:  Slide 28: looking beyond your one black friend

  • Justin: slide 29: How Progressive Christianity is often still racist, and what it means to be Intersectional

  • Austin: oh, no you didn't add intersectionality at the family dinner! lol

  • Justin: yeah that might be asking too much of people that are still understanding systemic racism

  • Jessica: I think we need to revisit slides 6-22 and name each subcategory

  • Austin: Hmmm. Yes. You are right. Lets do it.

  • Austin: Slide 6: White privilege and education

  • Austin: Slide 7: white privilege and rioting

  • Austin: Slide 8: White privilege and stop/frisk

  • Jessica: Slide 9: White privilege and career choices/ job interviews

  • Austin: Slide 10: white privilege and names

  • Abi: Slide 11: White Privilege and "Neutrality"

  • Jessica: Slide 5.5: White privilege and you. "Who, me?!" Yes, you.

  • Austin: Slide 12: White privilege and 'objectivity"

  • Austin: Yes! Jessica, Yes!

  • Abi: Slide 13: White Privilege and Media Representation

  • Timothy: Slide 30: MLK was peaceful, and they still killed him... In a suit.

  • Austin: We might give that 2 slides, Timothy

  • Jessica: Slide 14: Privilege and the politics of respectability

  • Timothy: Slide 31: Reverse Racism... Nah.

  • Abi: Slide 32: Not All White People... Nah

  • Timothy: Slide 32: MLK was not the only black leader...

  • Timothy: Slide 33:... He was the only black leader that made white people feel comfortable.

  • Marcus: Slide 34: Malcolm X wasn't the devil and Rosa Parks wasn't the first to sit on the bus

  • Marcus: Slide 35: why facts are never neutral

  • Austin: you all are brilliant and wonderful

  • Brandy: These are brilliant! Each time I thought of a new one, someone had already included it.

  • Timothy: Slide 36: If Mike Brown had shot up a school, he'd be alive. Examples provided.

  • Marcus: Slide 37: why nothing is as bad as slavery and jim crow except actual slavery and jim crow.

  • Marcus: Slide 38: why you need more black friends

  • Timothy: Slide 39: How to separate thug black from regular black at a quick glance.

  • Marcus: Slide 40: the differences between racism and anti-blackness

  • Austin: Sigh. You all make me so happy.

  • Timothy: Slide 41: The duality of being the villain and the victim.

  • Marcus: slide 42: the cultural-theological-physical and sexual obsessions with blackness.

  • Austin:  Marcus, please make this slide for us.

  • Abi: Slide 15: White Privilege and Housing/Districting

  • Abi: Slide 16: White Privilege and Voting

  • Abi: or whatever number we were on up there, heh

  • Austin: Abi, we have a lot of slide left for white privilege. Fill em up!

  • Timothy: Slide 43: Affirmative Action balanced out white privilege. Thank you.

  • Abi: 17: White Privilege and Theology

  • Abi: 18: White Privilege and the War on Drugs

  • Marcus: Slide 44: Almost no one mentioned in the bible, including God and Jesus, are white.

  • Marcus: Slide 45: Mythbusters: The actual decedents of the Neanderthals....

  • Abby: Standardized tests and the school to prison pipe line.

  • Austin: Love our list. But I think no one would stay for the turkey. lol

  • Amber: I'm so sad I can't share this 

  • Shara: I'm so mad I missed all this but can I squeeze one or two in the middle?

  • Shara:  Slide 46: Why people who claim to be "colorblind" are lying

  • Shara: Slide 47: Why it's ridiculous to want to be "colorblind"... Accepting that different does not equal bad

  • Jewel: Slide 48: Why buildings will never be worth more than black lives or nah

  • Jewel: Slide 49: Have you thought about having a conversation with your one black friend or nah

  • Shara: Slide 50: Why society values animals more than black men

  • Jewel: Slide 50: How not to put your one black friend in the magical negro category or nah

  • Kathi: I need one to explain why there are so few poc in Oregon. Answer number 1: they were written out of the constitution until almost 1930

  • Jewel: Slide 51: The history of biased media toward people of color

  • Jewel: Slide 52: How to have empathy and compassion for populations that have no privilege because you took it.

  • Jewel: Slide 53: How to see people of color as equally human as you see yourself

  • Jewel: Slide 54: How to not share racist sentiment in social media if you don't want to be called racist

  • Austin: You all are on a roll! I LIKE it. I like all of it!

  • Jewel: Slide 55: How you would feel if someone told you to just get over the unjustified killing of your child

  • Jewel: Austin, I think I can go all night lol

  • Jewel: Slide 56: How it is not endearing to tell someone of another race just how much you fetishize them.

  • Velynn: Girrrllllll for real!!! Lol!!!

  • Jewel: Slide 57: How Jesus never taught you to be racist

  • Jewel: Slide 58: It is never okay to touch a POC's hair, skin, any body part without permission

  • Austin:  Slide 57 made me laugh for real tho, Jewel

  • Jewel: Slide 59: How your all white congregation will never be what heaven looks like

  • Jewel: Slide 60: How holding contempt in your heart for poc while adopting poc children won't get you extra crowns in glory

  • Jewel: Slide 61: You just might be racist if you forbid your children to date or marry interracially

  • Jewel: Slide 62: How going on a short term mission trip does not mean you aren't racist

  • Jewel Slide 63: How the very same people you view as animals could be angels in disguise

  • Jewel: Slide 64: This is probably why you don't want to have me over for Thanksgiving

  • Shara: Lol umm this is no longer a slideshow over holiday dinner this is at least a semester long course for undergraduate students lol

  • Jewel: Undergraduate, Graduate, Doctoral everyone can get educated 

  • Amber: This is amazing. Omg

  • Amber: Slide 65 - Black Culture: Was it Appropriated or Nah? 

  • Jenny: Austin, this is making me so happy. Slide 66 - Why it's not reverse racism for white people to not say the N word.

  • Jenny: Slide 67 - see previous slide about reverse racism not being real.

  • Jewel: Jenny, amen to all of that!

  • Jenny: Slide 68 - if you are tired of talking about race/racism, that is your privilege oozing out.

  • Jenny: Slide 69 - movie ratings and the absence of complex poc roles. And why that matters immensely.

  • Austin: Slide 70- TED Talk: Danger of a single story

  • Jewel: Slide 71: How not to speak for people of color

  • Jewel: Slide 72: Why slaves were not happy on your family's plantation

  • Jenny: Slide 73 - how not to ask poc to speak for all poc

*As you can see I removed pictures, hyperlinks, and last names. I also removed any personal comments. This list brought me great joy. It was oddly cathartic to see a list of everything we wish we could address in this moment in time.  

Do you have more to add? Place them in the comments section!