Embracing Mystery: A Reflection for Saturday, December 17
By Jenny Hoskins
Daily Lectionary reading: Psalm 80:1-7, 17-19; 2 Samuel 7:23-29; John 3:31-36
Selected passage for reflection:
John 3:31-36 NRSV
31 The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He testifies to what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his testimony. 33 Whoever has accepted his testimony has certified this, that God is true. 34 He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God’s wrath.
Last week I was invited to participate in an exercise where we were asked to draw our perception of our image of God at different stages of our life of faith. It was fascinating to me to sit with this question for a bit and discover what emerged for me as I reflected over different stages of my life and how my image of God has grown, expanded, shifted, and changed over the years and different life circumstances.
As I thought about how I experience God presently in my life, I was drawn to the fact that the mystery of God has felt close to me in this season. Growing up, I had the sense that life with God was all about having the right answers, making sure I knew right from wrong, and being ready with a polished argument to “defend” my faith. It was an exhausting way to engage with the Creator. On my journey through life as black and white have faded into gray, as nuance has made its way into my vocabulary and easy answers are nowhere to be found, the mystery of God has been a comfort. As a recovering perfectionist with a Type-A personality, space to wonder and marvel, space to question and learn from the mystics has been pure gift.
I am one from the earth. There is so much I don’t understand. But I know deeply the love of God and can testify that I have seen God show up as true. As I walk through this Advent season, awaiting the coming of our Savior through a narrative that is filled with mystery, I want to continue to take my lead from Jesus. Jesus who asked far more questions during his time on earth than he answered. And may my questions and wondering lead me again and again to the One who comes from above. May my questions lead me to see life.
As you walk through this Advent season, what would it look like for you to make more space to wonder? What questions do you have? Have you seen God show up as true in this season of life for you?
God, help me to embrace your mystery. May I draw close to you in the questions and make space to find comfort in the unknown.
About the Author
Jenny and her family recently relocated to Nashville, TN after about a decade of living and serving in Ecuador. She is a mother to two, wife to one and still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. She is happiest when she can spend time outdoors or when she is gathered around a table with good friends and rich conversation. She continues to partner with Serve Globally of the Evangelical Covenant Church.
The Fourth Week of Advent