Rooted in Faith
According to the World Health Organization, the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a 25% increase in depression and anxiety worldwide. Even as we think we are emerging from the pandemic, a sense of uncertainty about the unknowable future lingers deep in us. Feeling ‘on edge’ and a little adrift, we’re searching for anchors and for a return to some confidence in… something.
There are a lot of people selling confidence this season: Miraculous eye creams! A vacation package to take you away from it all! Just the tool you need at a low, low price! The exercise plan or diet plan or weird tricks to make you into the person you want to be! All if you ACT NOW.
We can also access plenty of platitudes suitable for printing on coffee mugs or distressed wood plaques to scatter about our houses. (I will admit I have a couple)
Yet all of these external things can’t replace the deep yearning we have to know there is some foundation we can rest on while our unsettled, uncertain selves try to manage the world. The Advent season is all about sitting close with that yearning, and somewhere inside it finding a way to trust in the possibility of goodness prevailing. Mary is visited by an angel who says that the injustices of this world will be upended, peace will be restored and the wicked will get their due. And then there are the weeks (months, if we take the gestation time literally) of waiting, in disbelief, but also in hope, for the best to come about. For new life to arrive and with it fresh chances for justice and peace.
This is not easy, but it is the core of faith: holding the vision for what could be and trusting it, and our ability to tune ourselves to it, enough to keep us from acting out of our worst fears.
As I have gotten to know the FUUSN community I see a lot of faith here: faith in one another and in this community’s strength to meet the challenges of this time. And I also know there are deep struggles with our fears: Will we be heard? Will we be seen and known? Will we survive as a community? What will the future look like?
In the midst of the busy-ness of the holiday season, as we encounter each other at the tree sale or the Holiday Fair, the Solstice Service, in social hour and on Christmas Eve, let’s find time to remind each other of what we know and love and trust in this community. That faith can root us in our deepest hopes and just may help us make them real.