Twentieth day of Advent: love

December 19, 2014 § 2 Comments

In the last few months, several people have asked me why I converted to Christianity. It’s a difficult question for me to answer.

I’m fully aware that arguments for the existence of God only go so far. I don’t have perfect rebuttals to the arguments against the existence of God. I’m okay with a high level of uncertainty; I realize that much about God is mysterious.

Nor did I have a Road to Damascus moment. And I certainly didn’t answer some kind of altar call (ask me how I feel about those sometime and you may get more than an earful!).

No, my conversion was more subtle and nuanced than that, growing slowly over time, like the sturdy oak tree outside my window.

In fact, it was rather like the magi’s journey.

The magi travel from far away to see the newborn Son of God. Why? Because they are drawn by His beauty and love. And their response when they see Him? They present Him with the richest of gifts: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

I’m struck by their response. They immediately understand that the incarnation of God into vulnerable, pink flesh is a pure act of love. They are drawn to it, and know the only appropriate response is to worship in return.

And wasn’t that how God drew me in, with His love? And isn’t that how He draws us all, like gravity tugs toward the center of the Earth, like a river pulls downstream?

This Advent, I’m hit all over again by Love.

A cold coming we had of it, just the worst time of the year for a journey, and such a long journey: the ways deep and the weather sharp, the very dead of winter…and arriving at evening, not a moment too soon, finding the place; it was (you might say) satisfactory.
– T. S. Eliot

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