I began this Advent blog of wondering and questioning because of reading a book by Barbara Brown Taylor. The blog has been an ante dote to the rather arrogant certainty around us today in some Christian circles. The certainty that judges against any other opinion than the one being expressed. For me, I would rather live with the questions, because they lead me closer to an understanding of a God we cannot fathom and whose ways are as mysterious as that birth in Bethlehem. I leave the last word to Barbara - from her book 'The Preaching Life'.
'.....chances are that the way true believers believe is the way most of us believe: valiantly on some days and pitifully on others, with faith enough to move mountains on some occasions and not enough to get us out of bed on others. Since we believe in what we cannot know for sure, our belief tends to have a certain lightness to it, an openness to ambiguity and a willingness not to be sure about everything. Our belief is less like certainty than like trust or hope. We are betting our lives on something we cannot prove, and it is hard to be very smug about that. Most of the time the best we can do is to live 'as of' it were all true and when we do, it becomes truer somehow.
Our belief tends to show up in our actions more than in our words. Sometimes even we have to look at what we do to understand what we believe. We are not, at heart, believers in an institution or an ideology but in a relationship that changes from day to day and year to year. Just because we believe does not mean that we are not afraid of what might happen to us; it just means that we believe we know who will be with us when it does. Some days we are as firm in our faith as apostles and some days we are like lost sheep, which means that we belong to the flock, not because we are certain of God but because God is certain of us, and no one is able to snatch us out of God's hands.'
May the eagerness of the shepherds
The joy of the angels
The perseverance of the wise men
And the peace of the Christchild
Be yours this Christmastime
Have a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.