Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent.
I feel my faith very deeply. I always have. I have a personal relationship with the baby Jesus and I love Him intensely.
But yesterday I found myself angsty and upset and lost.
I am in a wilderness of sorts lately with my relationship with church.
And even with Christianity, I guess.
Because what most people think of as 'Christian' in our current society, I don't want to be identified with.
Kim Davis approving.
Planned Parenthood attacking.
Self assured and sanctimonious.
And church... well that's another thing. I wouldn't call my past church any of those things. But I find myself lost at church as well... feeling so 'over' the politics and the effort of the modern church to try to stay relevant in today's culture. I feel like so many progressive churches are trying so hard to be cool and edgy that I don't feel at home there anymore.
Where is the balance? Are we supposed to be cool? Or are we just supposed to be honest and admit that we're really messed up? And then unapologetically introduce people to Jesus? Because HE is cool. And HE loves fiercely and perfectly.
Life is hard. I don't begin to claim to have it figured out. I don't understand much of the mystery of the gospel - of grace and redemption and unconditional love and sin and mercy. I just know it's not my job to figure it out. It's my job to love God and love my neighbor. I don't know the answers to the tough stuff - things like transgenderism and refugees and poverty and suicide and whether someone is born gay or whether we're in the end times or whether Rob Bell is completely off his rocker.
And so I feel lonely a lot of the time. Because I don't know very many Christians who are willing to admit that we don't know all the answers. And that we're embarrassed about what much of society thinks of us. And that church can be a place of deep hurt as often (or more) as it can be a place of belonging and healing.
Advent is a time for Christians to reflect on the gift of God-made-man.
I need time to reflect this year more than ever. Because when I'm feeling lost I know that I am right at home in a stable with a baby who came to look at my messy heart and my over-active-introversion and love me completely and fully.
So I'm off. Off the internet. Off my phone. Off the news and the constant influx of confusion and frustration with society and humankind.
I'm off to sit quietly with Jesus and reboot my soul with His words.
And His life.
He is Life, friends.
Happy Christmas to you all. I'll be back after the New Year.