Merry Christmas! In this episode, we explore some of the less discussed sides of the Advent story. Too often we abstract the Incarnation and forget that Christ was born into a time and place with major political, economic, and social strife. Mary and Joseph had to navigate a lot more than an unplanned pregnancy.

Practical theologian, author, and speaker Kelley Nikondeha joins our Director of Technology Dan Johnson for a conversation on her new book “The First Advent in Palestine: Reversals, Resistance, and the Ongoing Complexity of Hope.”  We listen in as she talks about the broader context of the world and region that Jesus was born into as well as some of the challenges Mary and Joseph would have faced in that time and place.

Kelley is a theologian and author with a degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. She is a co-director of Communities of Hope, a community development enterprise in Burundi, and also serves as the theologian-in-residence for SheLoves Magazine.

We hope you enjoy this UpWords conversation and the rest of your advent season.

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Credits: Music by Micah Behr, audio engineering by Jesse Koopman, graphic design by Madeline Ramsey.