by Elder DawnMarie Hayes, Heritage and Rev. Mary Hayes, Venice
I feel frozen in a place of longing and tested faith. “How much longer do I need to wait, God, to be loved by someone completely, fully? How much longer do I have to wait to be cherished?” Living adjacent to darkness has become my daily dose of “this is life.” During this season of Advent, as my life parallels the twists and turns of the struggles of waiting, I find it hard to get excited about the Coming Christ and all the Love that will shower down on the Earth. What love? Will it be full of light and hope? Or will it be more “love” full of compromises, manipulation, and pain? Have I been forsaken? Am I forsaken? Jesus, do you hear me? I’m screaming and crying, but where are you? Over here in my corner alone, will the light breakthrough and shine upon me?
I wonder, did Mary have moments of doubt, moments of feeling forsaken as she traveled in a time of waiting through the darkness to deliver to the world The Light? Did she know? Did she feel loved by Joseph? Did she feel chosen and cherished by God? Was she afraid of losing the love of her family, her fiancé, her community? Did she feel love for Jesus, for the baby she will bring into the world, immediately and fully?…
Is it humanly possible to claw through darkness with an unbreakable faith that light will cover you again? Or is it human nature to question and complain that the waiting has been too long and the trials too great? What does it mean that we are waiting for the Word Eternal to become human? Jesus, coming into the world as an innocent human baby, shows us that we all need love. We all need community. We all need acceptance. We all need to be cherished.
Christ’s arrival floods the space around us with unbreakable, unstoppable, indescribable Love. It is this Love that feeds us, strengthens our faith, and keeps us fighting the darkness that has been around God’s creation since the very beginning. There is a coldness of life that piles up the losses, the disappointments, the missed opportunities, the nagging regrets . . . Christ is My Lord and Savior; JESUS is the light that will warm hearts, heal the body, mind, and soul and provide us with new opportunities to spread God’s Love.
Let me say that again. Jesus is the light. Jesus will provide us opportunities to spread the divine, never-ending, no-tricks-up-the-sleeve Love. In what ways do you feel called to spread the Love of Christ? How do you need to be loved? What are you doing about it? Better yet, what is Jesus doing in and through you to show God’s love? You are loved. You are a part of the community. You are accepted. You are cherished. Jesus is coming. Love is here. Amen.