Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Advent and The Story of My Faith

I love Advent for many reasons but the biggest is because each year it begins replanting me in the Story of my faith. For me everything begins with Story. What story is my story a part of? Each day that answer provides my mission for the day.

(As a member and minister in the Unitarian Universalist tradition, that denominational part of the story is only part of the story of my faith, for my faith is rooted deeper than the beginnings of the associations in 1793 and 1825, deeper than the start of the very first churches that led up to those associations, back before 1648 Cambridge Platform and back before 1620 in Plymouth and 1606 in Scrooby, back before the Protestant Reformation that gave rise to the movements that would lead to the start of those churches, back through the years and communities both triumphant and heretical and martyred, back to before it was an Empire, back before it was named, a Story with even more ancient roots but planted in the hopes of a few people on the margins of the Roman Empire who still experienced the love of one killed by the Empire. That is why all of the Christian tradition, the scriptures that comfort and discomfort, the hymns based on those scriptures that comfort and discomfort, speak to me and is my struggle, and blessing.)

Advent is the opening chapter of that Story for me; the songs of this season, and the great Christmas hymns plant this story in me again each year too just like the stories in the Bible do that are told this time of year, and just like the stories of the lives of the great, known and unknown, ancestors who also were a part of the Story and have carried it and shaped it down the centuries for me. 

A story of liberation and resistance in a place of oppression, of hope that comes on the margins of society's power, of the Ultimate in the Intimate, God in the most vulnerable. Advent reminds me where to incarnate my life each day. It reminds me why, though God knows there are so many reasons not to be, I am a Christian.

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