In Advent 2017, we will hear of the struggles of four religious radicals who fought for social and political justice. We will draw heavily on Albert J. Raboteau’s book American Prophets. We’re even shifting our liturgical calendar to start Advent a week early and be able to consider each of these prophets before Christmas Eve. See who we will discuss here.
This is in keeping with the spirit of the season, for Advent is a season of expectation and preparation, as the Church waits for the coming (adventus) of Christ, both in his incarnation and as judge at the end of time. The readings and liturgies, therefore, look forward not only to Christ’s birth, but also to his final Coming, and challenge the modern reluctance to confront the theme of divine judgement.
Perhaps more important to us ion this time and place, Advent offers us a chance to hear the words of four American prophets whose lives and teachings may help us prepare for another year of the current struggle.