#Advent 6 treasuring the questions
This morning brings the news of the passing of a great man. Nelson Mandela died last night, and this morning his tributes are all over the internet. Gillan Scott in his tribute quotes Archbishop Desmond Tutu saying:
‘He was tempered in the fire of adversity… The 27 years of incarceration, were important in the making of the man.
‘It gave him a new depth, helped him to be more understanding of the foibles of others, to be more generous, more tolerant, more magnanimous and it gave him an unassailable credibility and integrity, and so he could be as he was when he emerged from prison, willing to extend a hand of friendship to his former adversaries and be generous when they were vanquished.’
What a long time he had to wait, for freedom and for justice. At 39 I just can’t imagine what it would be like to be in prison for twenty-seven years. Only by the grace of God would it be possible not to lose hope.
We may not be in prison, but there are many ways of being incarcerated. Dreams and ambitions thwarted can have the same effect. Or we may see the good we could do but find our way blocked. At work at the moment we can see all the amazing things we could be doing for young people, but right now resources are tight… so we have to wait.
In this season of Advent, we may find ourselves not having the answers, the results. so instead, as Martyn Joseph put it, we instead treasure the questions:
But the journey has brought me so much closer
I don’t have to stand here and lie
Over and over I cried in the darkness
Over and over to see
The crime is to sit and not wonder
Renewing my mind set me free
And if I don’t find out the search is not in vain
And if I don’t find out I
Treasure the questions as they rage in my mind
I treasure the questions some day I will find
I ran out of answers such a long time ago
And I treasure the questions wherever I go
As we journey towards Christ, we know that some questions are not answered this side of heaven, but that when he comes again, we will see fully:
For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1 Corinthians 13:12
Something to warm your friends this Christmas from The Frugal girls: Hot Cocoa and Cider Goodie Bags.