Archive for May, 2009

Walking By Faith

What’s the good word? I’ve been thinking a lot about living by faith these days. I was reminded recently about what it says in both the Old and New Testaments: “the righteous will live by faith.” Paul also tells us that we walk by faith and not by sight. But that’s hard for us to do, isn’t it? For me especially because I like to know what is coming down the road. I like a planned calendar. But that’s not what we are supposed to do. Perhaps it is because it allows us to rely more on God. The Christian life involves living in dependence upon God. But what is faith? What are we supposed to be living in?  I recently read that one way to view faith is this: “God-directed risk.” I LOVE that definition of faith. So if you think about it, we are supposed to be living through God-directed risks in life. Living based on simple trust in God’s promises and unseen protection. Obeying the Spirit. It’s the risk of taking God as his word and finding God completely trustworthy. Now, I don’t know about you, but it’s easier for me to write that than to actually do it!  But we are called to constantly live in this way. The question for us now is: are we living by that kind of biblical faith?

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What’s the good word? Well, as a staff we have been reading this very challenging and thought provoking book entitled, “Organic Church”. This week’s chapter really stuck out at me for a number of reasons. Reason one will be what I am writing about today in this blog. One of the questions posed in the chapter for this week was, “Where is Jesus at work in our midst?” Too often we start with the question “What can we do to make our church more appealing to the people in our community?” That is simply not the question to start with. We need to begin with the previous question, “Where is Jesus?” The reality is, once the world and our communities begin to see Jesus in our midst, many more people will be attracted to our congregation. Is Jesus missing in our understanding of what church is?  In other words, if I asked you, “What makes a church?” would Jesus make it on the list with what is most certainly a list that would contain bylaws, a constitution, a church council, and sacraments? If Jesus is missing in our understanding of church, He will likely be missing in our expression of church.

Where is Jesus? I saw some members enacting what in means to be the church on Sunday. It was a great day for me as a Pastor to see. It happened at the 8:00 a.m. service. In walks a homeless man, very distraught. As Pastor Fred and myself proceeded to the back of the church after services, we were greeted by an usher who told us that he was really having a hard time and needed to get to a bus to head back home. One of our members moved from the row in front of him to actually sit with him until the end of service. The next thing I knew, one member had given him cash, another was willing to do the same, and two members agreed to take him back to the bridge where his clothes were so he could begin his trip back home. No questions asked. All concerned for a fellow human being. To me, it was the Parable of the Good Samaritan coming to life before my eyes. Jesus poses the question, “Will you stop or will you pass by on the other side? Who was the better neighbor?” “The one who showed care.” “Go and do likewise.” That’s the good word!

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