The following reflection, “Unfinished Business,” was written by me to share at my Quaker Meeting’s Christmas Eve Service on December 24, 2016. The post was set to publish about the same time that I shared it during our service.
Like many Quakers, I relish our tradition that we need not jockey about and bow before intermediaries between our individual prayer and corporate worship with that of the Divine, of God, or Spirit, called holy or otherwise. Time and time again many of us have been shaken to the bone, stricken speechless or forced to our feet seemingly against our will to offer verbal testimony during meeting for worship when we felt covered in Light, when something powerful and unseen, needing neither canon nor rite, settled upon one or many, that clearly came from that which is holy. Some say it came by way of God, of Holy Spirit, Great Spirit, Yahweh, Lord, Jehovah, Mother Earth, and for some, it came clearly through Jesus Christ. This gift, this joyous burden, has flowed among us and indeed, both held us and sent us onward in faith and Spirit seeking God’s will as way would open.
Awhile ago I had the awkward chore of answering eager questions from a first time attender to our meeting for worship. She wanted to know what lectionary we followed and if we were a “saved church…” …Let’s just say that answering these kinds of questions, well, it took a while! But I heard her, and more importantly, I understood at a deeper spiritual level, exactly why she felt the need to ask.
And like other curious inquiries from folks who ask me about Quakers, the question sooner or later lands at the doorstep of Jesus himself, meaning, “Do Quakers believe in the divinity of Jesus Christ?” And after making my best effort to represent the whole of our Religious Society of Friends (a near impossible task, I might add!) in my initial reply, I always end with this…:
Some Unfinished Business
…I confess gladly, as I have done so for years, that regardless of what I might think or know intellectually and theologically, that I know in my heart and spirit that Jesus clearly has unfinished business with me, personally and spiritually. And to this simple awareness, I surrender, willingly.
It is difficult for me to put all this into words. The weight and call of Christ at work in my life is not easily measured. And it’s not easily wrapped with ribbons and bows at Christmas time either, though the gift of Scripture that explains Jesus’ birth, life, His leaving and His return smack-dab in the middle of my bones, I hold with deep reverence. It defies packaging actually. But to be sure I wait, with wonder, with joy and with expectation of celebrating Jesus’ birth yet again this Christmas, even as I sturdy myself for whatever the transformed Jesus, call that Christ himself, has in store for this person and this Quaker.
Merry Christmas, my friends. Merry Christmas.
Text and images by K. Lee
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