Friday, June 15Scripture Reading—Hebrews 11:4-7
When I was a child, my dad would kiddingly ask me what I wanted him to preach about. I always said, “Faith.” That was probably because that was the only biblical or theological term in my vocabulary at that age. It was certainly not because I had any real understanding of what real faith was. But over the years, I don’t know if there is anything I’d rather hear anyone talk more about than faith. In Paul’s triad at the end of I Corinthians 13, the great chapter on love, he names faith, hope, and love, and says love is greatest. It’s hard to argue with that. But if one is not convinced that God is real and that God is good, then the question about the kind of God we worship seems moot. I want to hear people who have faith talk about faith because I think faith, the real conviction in God’s existence and goodness is hard to come by in our modern world. I’m not interested in people who just see faith as a tool to get what they want, like a winning lottery ticket, or good stock tip. I am very interested in people who in spite of the challenges of believing in God, have wrestled through their questions and decided that believing in God—and God’s goodness—is worth the risk. I think the people mentioned in Hebrews 11, these heroes of faith, are remembered not because of their moral perfection or their worldly success, but because they were willing to believe in God and were willing to risk their lives on God’s existence and goodness, even when other people thought they were crazy. Noah is an example of that kind of faith. He built an ark in the absence of rain because of his deep-seated conviction that God had called him to do this. His faith brought ridicule from others, but salvation to him—and the world. It is not moral perfection but this deep trust in God’s goodness that makes us right with God!
Thought for the day: Saving faith is simply the realization of our deep need for God and the willingess to risk believing God is real and that God can be trusted, even in our moments of confusion and doubt.
Prayer: O God, even when I have doubts, help me to be willing to take the risk of trusting that you are real, and that you intend fullness of life for me--and all your creatures. Amen.