FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION

A few days ago, I came across a song I hadn’t heard in quite some time. It was the classic from the stage musical, “Man of La Mancha” – “The Impossible Dream”.

Sung by the musical’s lead character, Don Quixote, “The Impossible Dream” is interspersed throughout the show and represents Quixote’s belief system and life’s vision for himself and others. Even after all these years, I am still moved by the words of that credo:

“To dream the impossible dream, to fight the unbeatable foe,

To bear with unbearable sorrow, to run where the brave dare not go.

To right the unrightable wrong, to love pure and chaste from afar,

To try when your arms are too weary, to reach the unreachable star.”

So powerful. So inspiring. Yet a major theme of the story is that Don Quixote is considered an oddball – completely out of touch with “reality” and the rest of society.

Just like us.

As people of faith and followers of Jesus, we are called to believe in and live according to a credo that so many consider to be “The Impossible Dream”. We are called to believe in and dedicate our lives to bringing about a world where God’s ways are the ways of humanity; called to challenge foes like violence and poverty that seem unbeatable; bear with and one day overcome the great sorrow that the world produces; run to make a difference in conflicts where even the brave hesitate to go; right what are commonly believed to be unrightable wrongs like oppression and injustice; love not just those we are closest to but even the stranger from afar; and keep trying to reach that “star” – that vision God and Christ have set before us – even when we are weary and questioning whether it is making any difference at all.

That “Impossible Dream” is what the Advent and Christmas seasons are grounded in. The star which led the shepherds to Bethlehem and the newborn child Jesus in Luke’s Gospel represents our quest to follow the one who taught and showed us how to live out that credo. Our quest, as Don Quixote also sings, is to “follow that star”, to pursue that vision:

“No matter how hopeless, no matter how far,

To fight for the right without question or pause,

To be willing to march into hell for a heavenly cause.”

Because during Advent and Christmas, our God once again declares that that dream is not “impossible”.

Advent and Christmas Blessings,

Mark