Fiscal Cliff! Maya Calendar! Wars and rumors of wars!
The news is full of reasons to despair. It strikes me as important, therefore, that the most common phrase in Scripture is “be not afraid.” It’s not that the various messengers of God who speak this phrase have rose colored contacts that block the realities confronting humanity – its that they understand that fear is often a contributing factor to our problems and a disabling block to solutions. Further, they understand that God is both beyond the current crisis and also dwelling intimately within the present moment. It is those who can recognize and live into that apparent paradox who best understand the God who is “I Am.”
This season of Advent is a reminder that we Christians live in the tension of the now and the not yet. That the Kingdom God has promised God’s people is upon us – and yet also yet to come. We are called to recognize, respond to grace, and help co-create the reality of the Kingdom, while also recognizing that it is not our work that makes it happen. Life, particularly Christian life, dwells in the midst of this mystery. A reminder that we are not in control, but that we are part of the story and that God is, truly, with us – that nothing can separate us from the Love of God, and yet we are also truly free. God does not force us to respond, God empowers us to do so.
So in the midst of our time, we can chose to be not afraid – and therefore be freed to bring light in the midst of darkness, joy, hope and confidence in the midst of despair. Freed to participate in making the world a better, more just, place – while also knowing that we are only a part of a much bigger story. Blessings on your journey.