BY REV. CORY KEMP |
How do we live this life of faith?
This may be a heavier question than you want to deal with, especially if you are the one cooking and hosting others as we celebrate Christmas today. You don’t have time to think – you have stuff to do. That question can wait until later in the day, or even the New Year. Lent is right around the corner after all.
And, so it is.
But, indulge me, just for a few minutes, and then you can get back to your stuff. Or, if you like, you can keep mashing the potatoes, glazing the ham and filling appetizer trays while we chat. I don’t mind if you can work and reflect at the same time.
So, how do we live this life of faith?
Mostly, we make space for people at the most inconvenient times in the most lovingly extravagant ways.
It’s really that simple.
The Biblical Christmas stories all point to our God showing up in human life in unavoidable ways that make those involved stop and take notice. They don’t always get the meaning right away, but sometimes come to it as they see more of the details unfold, as they take more steps into the story they themselves now embody.
Although not overtly stated, most of the main characters in these dramatic scenes clearly are taken aback, a bit resistant and somewhat miffed at what feels as if it is happening to them, not for them. They didn’t exactly ask for the circumstances in which they found themselves. But here they were, dealing with socially awkward, physically difficult and emotionally demanding decisions that had to be made and acted upon.
And, smack dab in the middle of all of that stuff, is God, a God who is always for us above all else. God who steadfastly loves us, even when we are thinking to ourselves, or saying out loud to whomever is around, “Really, right now? Can’t this wait?”
Sometimes it can, sometimes it can’t. Often times, it doesn’t, and life goes on without us in tow. But even when it doesn’t, and life goes on without us, God is still with us. And, there is always another chance to choose to listen, another chance to act on what we are hearing in our hearts as God’s will for us.
And that is what living a life of faith means, what it looks like, to respond to what God has done, and continues to do for us. It usually surprises us, expects more of us than we may feel prepared to give because it is so much more than we ever hoped or felt worthy to receive.
And that is God, Extravagant, Inconvenient Love, the kind that turns your life into something almost unrecognizable, the kind that you cannot help sharing.
“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; the government shall be upon his shoulders, and he shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.“ -Isaiah 9:6
About the author
The Rev. Cory L. Kemp is founder and faith mentor with Broad Plains Faith Coaching. Cory, employing her signature Handcrafted Faith program, supports ordained and lay women leaders in visualizing, understanding and strengthening their beliefs, so that they may know, love and serve God and their communities with generosity, wisdom, and joy.