December 15: Begin with "Why?"
In this Advent season of preparation, we await the coming of the one who will redeem us. For some of us, this is a time of hope and joy, while for others of us, it is a time of sorrow or loss. In the midst of this range of human experiences, what does it mean to proclaim the dream of becoming beloved community? What can we do that can invite the full range of experience and emotion into the work of building up the Body of Christ? How can we move forward with sensitivity and grace to acknowledge and learn from the breadth and depth of gifts in our communities?
In this moment of waiting and wondering, it might be helpful to step back from what we should do and how we should do it and focus on WHY. Why is becoming beloved community important for you at this time? Stated differently, why would your spiritual journey of formation and transformation call you into pursuing right relationship with others who may be quite different from you?
When we focus on our why, we acknowledge that becoming beloved community is an ongoing commitment and pilgrimage of embracing the promise of Advent. It allows us to move beyond fear, and to enter this work with hope and love. It reminds us that proclaiming the dream begins with each of us; we all have a role to play in building the Kingdom of God. It also invites us into moving beyond simplistic notions of “more diverse parishes” or “world peace” into the real, challenging, and life-giving work of healing, reconciliation, and transformation.