This advent season, my church’s sermon series is “He is our King.” It’s a refreshingly challenging one as it looks not so much to a meek baby in the manger, but the hope of a powerful God coming to meet humankind within drastic poverty and political oppression. On a recent Sunday, as I listened to the pastor speak to the political and cultural environment at the time that Christ was born, I realized how different my current context is living in 21st-century Chicago. I’m grateful for my resources and experiences, and that I haven’t known real physical, emotional or spiritual poverty. However, sitting in the pew on Sunday, I knew that members of the Opportunity International family living in countries all over the world have known firsthand the cultural challenges and struggles of poverty or political instability similar to those of Israel at the time of Christ’s birth. As they hear the Christmas story, our international family would connect, so much better than I do in this scope, with the hope that Christ brings in the face of adversity.
It made me realize the multifaceted-ness of Christ, our Savior. He really is bigger and greater than what one perspective can see. While we all can share in the true meaning of Christmas, from the Chicago area, to the middle of a megacity in India, to a small African village, our experiences shape what we see and how we connect with the Christmas story. Christmas and Advent are a great time to reflect and be filled with peace and hope and joy, but it can also be a challenging season for many. So whichever perspective or experiences you connect with this Advent season, I hope you find comfort in the power of our King, and peace in the hope of our Savior.
Jamelyn Lederhouse is a Donor Relations Assistant in the Resource Development department here at Opportunity International.