Monday, December 5, 2011

Joy: Green and Growing

The Advent wreath is a circle of evergreen boughs. Traditionally, the church chooses colours because they represent something and not simply because they’re pretty. Green represents growth, and growth suggests change. Things that grow are changing.

If only our spiritual journey was so easy and simple that we could capture faith and thereafter hold onto it. But faith isn’t a lifeless hunk of material that can be stored away safely in a locked box. Faith is a dynamic and living component of our life.

And faith isn’t just a set of beliefs, as the dictionaries would have us believe. Faith is better thought of as a way of life, or even a way of responding to life. Faith is using everything at our disposal (knowledge, the wisdom of others and prayer) to approach the changes and chances of the world. So that love is the main feature of my actions, a love that brings joy.

Hopefully, the way I respond to life is better than (or at least different from) when I was an infant, a toddler, a pre-teen, a teen, a young adult, or even better that I would have yesterday. That’s how it is with faith, ever green, ever growing; allowing me to be the person God is calling me to be. It is a journey of faith.

As Jesus said in John’s Gospel, “I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” (15.11) Many things can distract us from our faith-journey, which is why we need one another to remind us when we have lost balance and need to attend the green garden of our faith. This Advent is as good a time as any to make sure our faith is green and growing, so that our faith reaps joy.

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