Monday, November 30, 2015

Advent

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.

Right-wing.
Kim Davis approving.
Refugee fearing.
Planned Parenthood attacking.
Hypocritical.
Bible thumping.
Hateful.
Closed-minded.
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.

3 comments:

  1. You are spot on Kathy, this has been on going in Joel and I for a number of years. We seem to be walking a different journey than so many people we've known and past and present. Joel had a very simple yet intense conversation with God while on the Camino. That was his time for reflection, and for himself he's come to some very ways of thinking but it all just comes down to keeping it all simple. Just trust that God is the great I am, and. Be still and know that I am God., we don't need to know anything else. For a couple of weeks now I've been mulling this around and feel like there is some peace in just keeping it simple. Many of our friends would be surprised by what I've just said. It's not about doctrine, it's not about rules, it's about loving the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbor as yourself. Best wishes to you Kathy on your journey.

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  2. This is excellent. I appreciate when we admit we don't have the answers, but that we are willing to try and love people as best as we know how, and then invite people to try and figure this out together, regardless of whether they want to come to "church (the building)" or "invite Jesus into their heart" or all the other strange things that we seem to think is the mission. Let's figure this out together, and look at this book called the Bible, and this man called Jesus, together and realize we ALL are trying to figure it out.

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