Let us pray:
In the silence of our souls, help us, O Lord to discern the calling of your voice, that we may be obedient to your will for us in this time and place, in the midst of the ongoing beginning of your Heavenly Kingdom. Amen.
A Lessons and Carols service is a shortened version of the entirety of salvation history. Normally it begins with one of the stories of Creation. But this year we began with the story called “the Fall.” Why? I think the message is this: God loves humanity. God came walking into the garden, and the first thing the man and his wife do is hide. God immediately sought them, calling out, “Where are you?”
Salvation history is more than a walk through the Bible highlighting an ancient culture’s encounter with the living God. If we let it, it is also a portal-a window, if you will-into how our own lives interact with the ancient scriptural witness. Indeed, if we are really open, a walk through our own stories reveals the depths of our own personal encounter with our Living God. We, too, have our story to tell – and often we can identify with parts of the ancient story we read – seeing our own journey in parallel with that of the ones who have gone before. The question is, what do we do about it?
If Love has indeed come, and Love is nothing less than the living God, Emmanuel, Christ the Lord coming into our own hearts, into our own lives, then do our lives reflect such a radical and amazing thing as a personal encounter with the Living God?
Then, indeed, what might a faithful life touched by God look like?
- Can you think of someone in your community or family who embodies a faithful life?
- What characteristics does s/he have that reflect a faithful life?
- Does a faithful life have to be a Christian life? How might someone who is not a Christian reflect a faithful life?
- What characteristics do you nurture in your own life that reflect faithfulness?
- If God stepped into your life right now in a form that you immediately recognized, what would God find?
- How might you nurture a more faithful – or faith-filled – lifestyle this next year?