A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Thursday, December 03, 2020

Advent: The Kiss of Hope

by Lindsey Funtik, Coordinator of Volunteer Ministries, Ashland First United Methodist Church,  Ashland, Ohio.
Every day, there somehow exists in this tangled life the ability to kiss my husband, the man who is now half of my whole. In the gloomy predawn hours of the work day, in the brief moment after breakfast, after whatever scented candle (apple or grapefruit or pine) we have lit goes out, there is always the promise of connection. There is always a familiar face and an open heart. There is flesh and blood beside me, partnership incarnate, and I can reach for a kiss again, and again, and again. 

I will be the first to admit that I do not deserve it. The eyes that close when we lean in have witnessed tears and tantrums and more than one bad outfit. Sometimes my breath is bad and sometimes I misjudge the distance between us, which has resulted in a headbutt or two. This flesh of my flesh has stretched to me from the shore when reality whisks me through rapids like a waterlogged rat, and still he opens his arms to me. I know that he will be there, I know that he will draw me in.

Confidence, it would seem, comes from promises fulfilled. He said he would be there, and so I jump, face first, and land safely. 

I think, now more than ever, we need to know that our searches in the shadows will yield a spark. We need to know that a movement forward is not simply the futile act of sticking out one's neck. We need to be reminded that our hope is not empty, that the anticipation building in us will result in something significant, despite it all. 

As it goes with a kiss, so it goes with Advent.

This week, we lit the candle of hope. It was a leap of faith and an act of defiance. It was a statement: Roman rule will not stop a manger birth. Darkness will not stop the light. When we lean forward in anticipation, God will be there, smiling and knowing and welcoming us into an intimacy upon which we can count. 

The approach is not in vain and dreams will not be deferred. If we choose hope, if we choose anticipation, we will meet the kiss that waits for us. We can know, without a doubt, that the Spirit is working, that a bud is blooming in a virgin womb. When our longing comes to an end and all is fulfilled, we will be met with something solid, something real, something human and so much more: God with us.

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