December 11, 2011
The world in which we live CAN be viewed as a harsh, passive place in which there are birds and animals of prey, and animals which ARE the prey; survival of the fittest; nothing more. There is nothing divine, nothing of significance and in which all is empty. Is that all?
Most of us recognize the truth of evolution and variety in nature. In church, however, we do not express our understanding of reality in cold, scientific terms. Rather, in contrast, we express our faith in stories, song and richness of imagination. The Christian faith rings out proclaiming beauty, faith, love and meaning. Much of the language of our Christian faith, like that of various professions, craft, trades and lines of business is unique. In Christianity, we express reality in stories and poetry. We live it in relationships. We celebrate its meaning.
And when we go down to death it is not “like the quarry slave scourged to his dungeon…” but, rather, it is with confidence over-riding our fear, and with the view that our lives and loves have meant something. For, the spiritual dimension is God; God is great.
For me, as for millions of other Christians, Advent is a colorful and beautiful celebration of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. How better to begin our spiritual lives: in hope, with peace, overflowing with joy and sanctified by love. Like Judaism, the Christian faith is not only about ending and beginning, but it is also about the richness of daily living; living joyfully and thankfully. When Paul wrote, “Let the same mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus”, I believe that he declared a truth we can all experience. We may truly be “born again” i.e. Start anew. We may truly have the experience of wonder. We can recognize the miracle of “the baby.”
We may come to view the world in something more than simply our own needs. We recognize that all of us have physical, social, psychological, sexual and spiritual needs, but in contemplating the spiritual significance of Jesus- the baby, the youth, the young Rabbi, the courageous rebel, the triumphant Lord, we pray that the power of God which was in Him will be in us. We can experience the satisfaction of giving of ourselves and our possessions to better our world, the primary institutions of civilization, and our needy neighbors.
Today it is my prayer that you will experience the Peace that comes from the experience of the presence of God in your own innermost being and felt by all who come into your presence.