Thursday, December 13, 2012

A Holy Faith

But ye, beloved, build up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.  Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.  -- Jude 1:20-21 (KJV)
Advent continues to unfold and time continues to march forward.  The time of awaiting and preparing takes on a sad and somber tone when news of mall shootings, wars, fatal car accidents and terminal illnesses whisk people out of this life in cruel unexpected ways during this season.  We talk about hopeful expectation during Advent, only to have hope assaulted by the plague of sadness and loss.  Hope in the throes of loss is true hope, true holy faith.

A suffering God - suffering under the weight of observing a world dominated by misery, violence, sin, and loss - put aside the mantle of Holy Transcendent Otherness and entered into a human connection.  God, who had stood outside of creation, comes down to earth to become part of the very humanity that had until this moment only been a spectator sport.  Emmanuel, God with us, is born into a living, breathing body capable of pain, hunger, sorrow, joy, pleasure, frustration... God came to know first hand what we all know: life is at times very hard and painful.  With God's coming new mercies, a new depth of prayer's meaning, an expanded new love, and a more vital holy faith were born.

Build yourselves up in this season of hopeful expectation through a reliance on the Holy Spirit who prays, with the God who loves, and in the mercy Jesus Christ offers.

Holy God, lead us into ever deepening hope and faith in you.  May this season infuse us with the sense of your presence, the light of your assurance, and the promise of our eternal life.  Amen.

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