advent: a coming into being or use
Advent first means the coming of the incarnate Christ. Through his Incarnation, we are shown how to live. Jesus lived a life that was counter cultural/revolutionary and a life of faith, humility, love, and poverty. Through his sacrifice for sins, we are forgiven, and through his sacrifice we are to bring his kingdom here to earth, as it is in heaven. This prototype is given through the Gospels, and specifically in the Beatitudes.
The second meaning of advent is the personal transformation of a man/woman and the coming into being of a particular idea/institution.
Youth Development must combine the elements of advent, as we must be able to provided hope to those in whom we work with. This hope comes from the offer of a personal advent and a community advent. When personal advent takes place, that gives place for an entire community’s advent.
Personal advent does not come from charity alone, but is combined with justice. A community’s advent comes from individuals taking ownership of the community and combating the injustices therein.
Urban youth development will encounter the cycle of poverty which includes generations of systematic failure. Not just generational failure, but I speak of failure on behalf of everyone that has neglected the community and their brothers and sisters.
Last, advent never happens if someone doesn’t step out and come into being.
In future posts, we will explore the specific ways personal and community advent can be carried out.