Making Advent Great Again #MAGA: A Conversation with Emily Hunter McGowin

Who knew the sloganeering of a Presidential campaign would afford us a way to highlight the great mystery of the Incarnation? Consider it much like the Apostle Paul flipping, “Ceasar is lord,” to, “Jesus Is Lord.”

Here we are one year later and my friend Tripp, along with Mike Morrel and John Pavlovitz, decided to flip, Make America Great Again in order to help us Make Advent Great Again. The creative juices are rewarded with a ready-made hashtag – #MAGA. Can it get any better?

Positivity Shmositivity

No amount of spin will help us when we face the stark realities of our lived experience. Take the news out of Liberia. Sold into slavery is not a thing of the past. We like to think this only happens over there. My friend David Trotter worked on the documentary, In Plain Sight, that reveals the ongoing sex trafficking, read modern slave trade, here in the United States.

The covers are off on the long accepted treatment of women by the powerful. It exposes what we all know is the underside of power. We did not learn much from David and Bathsheba. Cover-ups generally don’t cover enough. Too many want the reporting to stop. Admittedly it is exhausting to take in all the new stories. Remember, we are only hearing what hits the media, centered on the rich and famous. No one believes they are the only ones who treat women poorly.

We could go on.

Instead, some prefer a therapeutic approach. We are not that bad.

Telling the Truth Means Facing Reality

If everything is great, then what needs to be made great? If we are so tired of winning, what is left to win? No matter how the rhetoric is employed, the truth is desperation for a win does not make the currently proposed Tax Reform measure great. The long-term consequences will linger long after many in the House and Senate are no longer in office.

We need good news.

We need something great.

If we have learned anything in the history of our young Country it is that we cannot rescue the world. We barely can manage ourselves.

Making America Great Again is a placebo.

Making Advent Great Again reminds that in the midst of hopelessness, peacelessness, joylessness, and lovelessness, But God . . .

The Jesse Tree and Waiting

Emily Hunter McGowin takes a mic as we discuss Advent. Many of us did not grow up observing the Season of Advent. Emily describes how her family discovered Advent, what it has come to mean and how they find the Season of Advent a help to the Church of the Resurrection that she and her husband Ronnie lead.

We talk to Make Advent Great Again!

Have you ever heard of, The Jesse Tree? I had not.

What music helps ring in the Season of Advent if it is a time of waiting?

Waiting Songs from Rain for Roots.

We talk about the darkness that many people face, often suffering in the dark alone. And, of course, we discuss what it means, But God . . ..

What might you do to Make Advent Great Again for a world captive to darkness?


You will want to get Emily’s book when it comes out in May.

Here is a link to a conversation I had with Emily on the subject of her forthcoming book.

If you find the podcast helpful, share it with your friends. Share it with your pastor friends as well as folks you know involved in leadership that touches on the pastoral. Also, consider heading over to iTunes, login, search for patheological and give us a five-star rating and a kind review.

About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.

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