By Pastor Mark Combs
One of the books that I have on my shelf is a book by Frederick Buechner called Listening to Your Life. To be fair, I often find it to be a great source of inspiration for sermons and articles, and I want to share part of it with you.
A great theologian, when asked about life said this:
Have you wept at anything during the past year? Has your heart beat faster at the sight of young beauty? Have you thought seriously about the fact that someday you are going to die? More often than not do you really listen when people are speaking to you instead of just waiting for your turn to speak? Is there anybody you know in whose place, if one of you had to suffer great pain, you would volunteer yourself? If your answer to all or most of these questions is No, the chances are that you’re dead.
Now the point of the text is that life is a miracle, but what I started to think about is — what does it mean to live this life we have been given? Is there a focus point of what this living means? I think there is.
The focus point is that we are living in and by the grace of God. This grace allows us to experience all that is around us, both the good and the bad. The grace allows us to answer yes to the theologian’s questions. When we can answer yes to the questions, that means we are alive and have been blessed to be able to have emotion. This makes us aware of the world around us, and the other lives in the world.
Being aware of the others around us lets us live out the spiritual callings of the Spirit to be present and minister to those around us — to carry out the work of the Lord. That is what being alive is all about — being an active contributing part of the kingdom, and that really is the miracle of Christ incarnate in us.
So as we face the mad rush that comes with our Advent preparations, let’s all see what we can do to make sure that we are active and involved in this life experiencing all the joy and sorrow — all the feeling of being alive. Until next time.
See you in church!