The Vicar's Vision
One of the items I am to work
on is how to speak “theologically”. Pastor’s Beth and John are
poking me every week on “what did you learn this past week and
put it in theological terms?” Believe me - I dread hearing those
words. It has been and continues to be a challenge for me to
“talk the talk”. As Pastor Beth points out to me, this is more
than using the right words. It is for me to be able to help
people see their lives through the eyes of faith. That sounds
easy. But none of us is really good at seeing our lives through
the eyes of God.
The conversation with Pastor
Beth made me look closer at the word “faith”. Faith is a noun
having to do with trusting in something completely. What about
our faith in God?
Faith is about the stuff in
life that you can’t measure with a yardstick, test with a
thermometer, or see through a microscope. Why? Because faith is
about God, eternal life, forgiveness, grace, and all that good
stuff. Faith is about who you are and who God is. And can you
measure who you are by using a yardstick? Or, for that matter,
can you measure who you are by measuring your grades, paychecks,
or taxable square footage?
Faith is a hard concept to
understand. Don’t believe me? Just read the Bible. One day the
disciples asked Jesus to “increase our faith” (Luke 17:5-6) So
Jesus said, “If you had even a little faith, you could command a
tree to jump in a lake, and it would do it for you.” The point
isn’t how much faith you have; the point is whom your faith
is in. We trust Jesus. He’ll do the rest.
Trust is like being in a
burning building and jumping out of the fifth story into the
arms of someone waiting to catch you below. Once you jump, it
doesn’t matter how much trust you have that the person below
will catch you. All that matters is that the person actually
catches you! We trust in Jesus. We jump into his arms. Jesus
hasn’t dropped anyone yet.
A word of caution: no matter
how strong our faith is, God will always remain a mystery to
human minds. God is greater than any idea of God we can imagine.
But that doesn’t mean we throw our hands up in the air and stop
thinking’ thinking is part of faith. Faith includes knowledge -
knowing who God is, what God teaches, what God promises. You
can’t just use your heart; it also includes your head.
And faith includes following
Jesus - following where Jesus leads, following his example,
following his law, obeying his commandments.
The Holy Spirit works in each
of us to help us grow in the trust, knowledge and the following
of Jesus Christ.