The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Lord’s Spirit is, there is freedom. All of us are looking with unveiled faces at the glory of the Lord as if we were looking in a mirror. We are being transformed into that same image from one degree of glory to the next degree of glory. This comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
(2 Corinthians 3: 17-18 CEB)
“Look at that cup, Sunshine! What do you think of it?” I said this because I was delighted to see the clay artwork my friend was creating. I remembered the day Sunshine would not even consider participating in the art classes we offered at the shelter, and now she was sitting at the table next to me, making pottery to sell.
“Well, you know,” she responded with a modest smile and giggle, “I think it’s all right. The bottom is a little uneven around the edges. It’s good, though.” “Oh, I bet the teacher can help you fix that,” I replied, and I invited the pottery teacher over to help make the bottom of the cup just perfect. Like any good teacher, she began offering Sunshine ways she could smooth out the edge with a little water, a sponge, and time. I added a bit of my knowledge as well. Sunshine extended such grace and patience to us as she listened and affirmed our words with a nod.
Once we finished, Sunshine gently said, “Oh, no. I mean, I like it, because I made it. You know?” The cup in her hand belonged to her, and before it was even finished she already loved and accepted it. There was nothing we could have taught her about making the cup better that would have made Sunshine love the cup more.
As Sunshine continued to create, I pondered her words. Eventually she wrote the word love and John 3: 16— her favorite Scripture— on the cup, and she told us with delight that it was finished, rugged edges and all. It was indeed finished. It was beautiful and identifiably hers to those of us who knew her.
Perhaps the invitation for us this Advent is to trust and walk in the Spirit of Christ and the liberating good news that we are accepted and loved by God even before we are finished. Christ invites us to a new way of being. Often, however, we don’t enjoy our walk in Christ because we are hindered by rigorous human standards that misrepresent God’s view of us as “already good” because God made us.
Maybe this Advent we, like Sunshine, should see ourselves through this Spirit of truth, which frees us to live life with joy and true liberty.
Creating and re-creating God, touch my eyes that I may truly see my neighbors and myself as accepted and loved by you already.
Free me from those things that hinder me from walking freely in the light of this love.
May I be confident that as you complete your work in me, I am already good in your sight through Christ. Amen.