Lent in Your Pocket 3.26

03.26.20 | by Pastor Jason Valendy

    Theme: We are limited in our understanding of God. How do we live this life for the Divine in which we cannot fully understand?

    Scripture:  Hebrews 11
    Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

    Reflection: It is unfortunate how we have “essentialized” faith. What I mean is, we have defined faith as “essentially believing in things.” Faith is essential for our lives, but faith is not essentially believing. The problem is, too often we use faith and belief interchangeably as though they are equal. Belief is not equal to faith.

    Faith is more than giving mental assent to an idea. Belief makes up a part of faith, but it is not faith. There are other parts that go into the fullness of faith. One of those parts is Trust. Faith is trust. When we have faith in our friends, we do not believe they exist or not. No, we trust our friends with parts of our lives and as such we have faith in them to be gentle with us.

    Another part of faith is fidelity. Loyalty, allegiance and a commitment of the heart is perhaps another way to understand this part of faith. Taken together, the opposite of faith is not disbelief - there are many times people in the bible that people did not believe - but concepts like fear, adultery and idolatry. So how can we have faith in a God we may not see?

    It could be that we are limiting ourselves to how we understand faith. Perhaps it is worth considering the ways that you understand what faith is. Perhaps the metaphor from Soren Kierkegaard is helpful to consider: Faith is like floating in 70 thousand fathoms of water. If you struggle and panic, you will sink. If you relax and trust, you can float.

    Prayer: Holy Spirit, show me how to trust in the buoyancy of God. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

    Rev. Jason Valendy
    Co-Senior Pastor, Keller UMC