In her new book The Liturgical Year: The Spiraling Adventure of the Spiritual Life, Joan Chittister writes that the liturgical year, which begins with the first Sunday of Advent, “is an adventure in bringing the Christian life to fullness, the heart to alert, the soul to focus. It does not concern itself with the questions of how to make a living. It concerns itself with the questions of how to make a life.”
How to make a life … now there’s something to think about. I’m not talking about sitting down and writing a list of 100 things to do before you die–seriously, people, where is the meaning in that? No. Instead, I want us to think about making a life in terms of how we, as a community of women, will focus on the life of Jesus, the stories told, and the lessons learned through his life on earth.
How will we, as a community of women, be vigilant about supporting one another and engaging in ministry and action? When Joan Chittister talks about making a life, she’s not talking about a step-by-step self-help plan to make your life “better” or “more meaningful.” She’s not talking about a guide to “making yourself a better you.” In case you weren’t aware, that is not religion, and keeping a bucket list is not a devotional practice.
As I begin to approach this new liturgical year and how I will navigate through it, I think I’ll turn to the 14th chapter of John: “’Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life.’”
How will you make YOUR life?
Emily Hansen is director for stewardship, Women of the ELCA.