Yesterday, I told you all about our little miracle and answered prayers. It seems appropriate that today's word, in this series of reflections on Advent, is believe. When the angel visited Mary, bringing the incredible news that she, a young, unmarried girl, would give birth to God's Son, Mary suspends her fear and incredulity. She believes.
My own story of belief starts way back. I had parents who were faithful Baptists. We went to church when the doors were open.
But when I became a teenager, the Jesus-stuff bored me. Religion seemed something much better practiced by the thirty-somethings,who, settled down with kids, would be spending their Friday nights at home anyways.
And then I had a come-to-Jesus moment. I was sixteen, attending a week-long camp with my youth group.
It wasn't a moment I'd prepared for or anticipated. I certainly had no intention of becoming a Jesus freak. But it was a moment that would change my life irrevocably.
It's since that time that I've come to believe the craziest, most hopeful things, about God and this world.
I believe in a God who forgives and pursues.
I believe in a God who listens.
I believe in a God who speaks.
I believe in a God whose purpose it is to undo brokenness and make things finally right.
I believe in a God who is near.
I believe in Jesus.
Not sure where you are in your own personal journey of faith, but I do have some spiritual memoirs to recommend, written by people who describe their own journey of belief.
A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken
Amazing Grace by Kathleen Norris
No Compromise by Keith Green
Beyond Our Selves by Catherine Marshall
For the intellectually skeptical, here are some very reasoned books about faith.
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
The Reason for God by Tim Keller
Simply Jesus by N.T. Wright
The Language of God by Francis Collins