photo © 2008 Charles Stanford | more info (via: Wylio)The past several years, I have grown increasingly disillusioned with the institutional church as I have grown increasingly committed to the way of Jesus. My theology has become very simple. “Love the lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul and love your neighbor as yourself”, pretty much sums it up for me. I have grown tired of dogma and doctrinal debates. I long for a community that invests more energy in living the great commandment than it does protecting its self from those who do not share its theology.
This time of year that longing is intensified. In his message this morning, Rev Bob Partlow reminded us that advent is a season of yearning; yearning for the incarnate God who ushers in the kingdom here on earth. He shared his yearning for God’s kingdom that is yet to come; a kingdom where babies do not die of preventable disease or where children do not starve in world of abundance. He also shared his longing for the kingdom that is near to us; the one that dwells in us as Christ spirit lives through us.
Rev Partlow asked, “What are you yearning for this advent season?.” I realized that what I and others may see as discontentment with the church is actually a yearning for the kingdom. I am often frustrated with myself because I can’t seem to simply accept things as they are. I am continually seeking what could be. I am learning to accept that this is simply how God created me. I was reminded today that it is my hope in the future that makes me dissatisfied with the present. I see so much potential and have witnessed powerful movements of the spirit. It has left me hungry for more. I am not willing to settle for business as usual when it comes to the Christian faith. This advent season, I will continue to seek the breaking in of God’s kingdom here on earth in unexpected places and in fresh new ways. I long for a community of believers who share my yearning and my hope.