We’ve entered the season of Advent, a slow, quiet, dark time which prepares us for the birth — or awakening — of the Christ Presence. Advent, from the Latin adventus, meaning arrival, invites us to prepare for a celebration unlike most others. And, as with all celebrations, whether grand and glorious or simple and elegant, we can choose to take the calm, careful, diligent, faithful steps necessary to create a delightful experience for ourselves and any others sharing in the festivities.
As we prepare, we’re asked to believe in a divine outcome, to remain faithful that the celebration will be both wondrous and joyous, even when outer appearances suggest that the outcome will be anything but. In the darkness of the season, we’re invited to look beyond appearances. To know that in darkness there also is seeing. To realize that as we adjust our sight, we also expand our vision.
In this season, perhaps more than others, we’re encouraged to remain faithful, even when we feel discouraged and doubtful. We’re reminded to take another plunge into the depths of our inner well of faith, remembering that all the faith we ever need already is within us.
As we do, we can contemplate the words of Fred Gailey, the attorney who defends Kris Kringle in Valentine Davies’s delightful and uplifting holiday classic, “Miracle on 34th Street”:
Faith is believing when common sense tells you not to.
That kind of faith is uncommon in most people: To believe when our five physical senses and our worldly common sense says: “Can’t happen. No way. Impossible.” The true faith, the faith of the one who will be born in a manger, is the kind of uncommon faith so many of us desire. It is the deep, abiding faith which sees beyond appearances, seizes opportunities, embraces possibilities, plans glorious celebrations on a shoestring and anticipates divine outcome.
Uncommon faith knows and trusts that a magnificent future is unfolding, even without the coming attractions. Uncommon faith relinquishes control and ceases giving God directions. Uncommon faith does nothing without putting God first and knowing God as unconditional love, infinite compassion and ever-abiding grace. Uncommon faith sees clearly in darkness. Uncommon faith understands that God’s immense power and presence can transform even the smallest things, the most unlikely people, and the most hopeless circumstances.
Especially, during this season, uncommon faith remembers what God has done before and trusts in what God continues doing. We already know how the story ends: a baby, a messenger of uncommon faith, peace, love and joy is to be born in a manger, surrounded by his parents, shepherds, wise folk, angels, and a shining star.
And, with wonder, awe and uncommon faith, we prepare for the celebration — and we believe.
© 2016 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks. All rights reserved.