The Cost of Advent

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. – Hebrews 13:16 (NIV)

When I was headed home from work, I entered the train station and saw three white men in a tense exchange with three young Black folx.

The posture of the white men and the tension of the situation made me uncomfortable, so I stopped to listen.

The men were plain-clothed police officers, and the Black youth said they witnessed one of the officers give a $100 fine to a Black person and then let two white people do the exact same thing without issuing a fine.

They also said one of the cops flashed his gun as he gave the fine and continued to antagonize the Black youth.

When the situation didn’t feel as if it was de-escalating, I started to record it on my phone even though I was incredibly afraid. Escalating situations between police officers and Black Americans often end in someone being arrested and too often end in someone being killed.

Thankfully, the exchange ended shortly after I started recording.

Despite my fear of what could have happened, I know I was called to stay and record because of who my faith calls me to be.

If you’ve ever been scared to do what’s right but done it anyway, then you understand the cost of Advent.

On the other side of the invitation, “Come, Lord Jesus,” is a radical Savior who refuses to treat anyone as disposable and requires us to expand our courage and leverage our privilege to strive for collective liberation.

In this season of waiting, we prepare for the coming of Emmanuel, whose presence with us demands that we embody Divine courage in moments of injustice.

Ready me for your coming, Lord Jesus, so that I may speak truth to power and be truth to power in your name. Amen.

Small Group Discussion

About the Author
Marchaé Grair is a spiritual director, facilitator, and the Director of Public Relations and Outreach at the Unitarian Universalist Association. Follow her work at