Today, as we conclude the story of Adam and Eve and look ahead to the coming year of getting to know our ancestors in scripture, I invite you to reflect on the life of faith. Adam and Eve, the very first people, the ones who intimately knew God, who spent time walking in the garden with God, were imperfect. The rest of the characters we will encounter in scripture are no different. They are all imperfect, all ordinary, just like you and me. Yet their stories are inspirational, and they show us the way of faith. They invite us to accept ourselves as we are, imperfections and all, and continue the march of faith. As you think about your own hopes for yourself and your faith in the coming year, I invite you to reflect on this poem by Brené Brown:
Manifesto of the Brave and Brokenhearted
There is no greater threat to the critics
and cynics and fearmongers
than those of us who are willing to fall
because we have learned how to rise.
With skinned knees and bruised hearts;
we choose owning our stories of struggle,
over hiding, over hustling, over pretending.
When we deny our stories, they define us.
When we run from struggle, we are never free.
So we turn toward the truth and look it in the eye…
…We craft love from heartbreak,
compassion from shame,
grace from disappointment,
courage from failure.
Showing up is our power.
Story is our way home. Truth is our song.
We are the brave and the brokenhearted.
We are rising strong.