Monday, December 19, 2011

Faith is like electricity. You can't see it, but you can see the light

Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe." – St Augustine

(Gospel: Luke 1): But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He will drink neither wine nor strong drink. He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb, and he will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God."

Why do I/we doubt?

Because there is just so much dark stuff out there. There is so much evidence of bad people doing bad things. There is such a tendency in our world to think of my needs first, and to ignore the great suffering and sorrow of others, and this attitude is becoming contagious.

Zechariah could speak again, when he acknowleged his belief in the promise. He confirmed the name given to the promised child, "his name is John." The name "John" means "God is gracious." When I/we can say "God is gracious," then I/we can speak again. The ability to speak, live, act, witness a hope in God's fidelity to us starts with our acknowledging that "God is gracious."

That's our Advent journey - to say in my heart and out loud: "I believe that you are and will be gracious, for I believe you love me and have come to set us free from the power of sin and death. The bigness of your promise is hidden in the mystery of the littleness of your coming."

In the Gospel, because Zechariah is hesitant to believe what the angel is saying, the angel makes him mute so that he may come to believe. May we learn to accept what God lays out in his will for us because otherwise, we begin to impede on the effectiveness of God’s will. When we accept and have faith in God’s will, we can appreciate our gifts.

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