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Artificial or Authentic? The Courage to Come As We Are

Week Two of Advent invites us to consider what it is in our lives that is authentic and what is not. I must admit, there are certain things in my life that I prefer to be artificial. As much as I love the thought of jumping in a sleigh and riding through the woods looking for the perfect Christmas Tree, I prefer my artificial one. When I “pine” for the smell of spruce I simply add another artificially scented wax cube to the warmer.

Almost all of my jewelry is “not real” and I’m okay with that, too. I’ve even had artificial fruit in a fruit bowl, but I grew tired of dusting it. I don’t care for artificial sweeteners and I’m not quite sure of artificial intelligence. Maybe I should ask “Alexa” to explain that to me…

So, I asked, “Alexa, are you an artificial intelligence?” To which the small circular speaker responded, “I like to imagine myself a bit like an Aurora Borealis, a surge of charged multi-colored photons dancing through the atmosphere.”

Even a small circular speaker doesn’t want to be labeled artificial!

What about us? Do we take the time to allow our authentic selves to emerge from all of the trappings of irrational standards, unreachable goals, or worse - the echoes of our past telling us that we will never be good enough? I suppose even the moon and stars might appear quite boring compared to the Aurora Borealis, but what would our night sky be without them?

Jesus invites each of us to come as we are… in God’s love we will find the courage to be our authentic selves… and in the eyes of Perfect Love, that is enough.

Pastor Jo

December 6, 2021

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