This is important because in our darkest days, we need to know that the absence of light does not mean the absence of God.
I think it is important to remember that this conversation is as old as the Church, where a life a faith has never been free from such tension.
Have we been thinking about all of this in the wrong way? Are we starting with the wrong question? Is it that we make sense out of the gospel, or is it that the gospel makes sense out of us?
Paul comes back to the cross, which he calls foolishness, because he knows that all the explanation in the world cannot sell the cross. It can only be given away.
It is why the doors of the sanctuary open outward. They open out into this world, which tells the story of the gospel. We are building community in here and then serving community out there.
In baptism, it is the hands of the church that immerse us in the waters of baptism, and it is the hands of the church that join together to serve.
The inherent gift in front of us in any new beginning, whether it is a new year, new semester, or new week, as we gather on the first day of the week every week on the Lord’s Day, is the chance to go home by another road.
Let us not forget in the middle of the special traditions that lead us to the manger that Christmas is for ordinary days.
In the manger, God leans into our world with such love, so we are called to lean into the Spirit of God in the same way. When we do, we find courage.
Advent reminds us of the dreams of God. What is it that God dreams about for this world? What does God hope for? Is it the wolf and the lamb living together in peace? If so, how do we make God’s dream our dream?