“For we walk by faith, not by sight…
[St. Paul at 2nd Corinthians]
Here Paul speaks both for us…and to us.
He was trying to make sense to others of how we as Christians…claim our redemption, salvation & eternal life…through a person who we did not ever see or hear with our own senses.
Paul knew that Christians are animated in their spiritual walk by their faith…
And the faith we live and practice…has little to do with written forms, signed documents, legalities…
It has to do with following the example of Jesus Christ…whose love for us…urges us on!
Paul told his audience in Corinth…that we are to be animated by love…from the heart…
Not from a human point of view…but Christ’s point of view.
Let’s dig into this a little deeper…
This walking by faith rather than sight.
We do just this all the time in things outside of religious practice…let me give you an example.
Earlier this week (June 14th) meant several things to me.
All of them…whose reality I accept by faith…
That day…was flag day…the day we celebrated Betsy Ross’s creation…[or to be more apt]…what her flag represents to us by faith. “freedom, courage, strength, sacrifice”.
That day…was my father’s birthday…
That day…my father graduated from college in 1934
And that same day…my parents were married.
I count these things true because…
Because history tells me of George Washington asking Betsy Ross to design a flag.
Of Frances Scott Key watching Betsy’s flag flying over the harbor in Baltimore in the War of 1812.
I have faith that my father’s and mother’s lives…are attested to by documents and other’s recollections of their love for each other over time and circumstance.
Accepting things built around faith…in things known but not seen…is the same thing we have in
Jesu Ben Joseph
Who we call Jesus the Christ.
When I was young…and thought like a child
(as Paul so famously said about himself)
Things about church, Christianity, worship, relationships…were so simple.
Church was the Episcopal Church. And I felt you were a ‘poor thing’ if you did not have the good fortune to be a member.
Worship was the Book of Common Prayer
(the book that some people humorously suggest that Jesus himself loved to pray from)
Christianity was following the Ten Commandments & whatever the Bishop told you to do.
Relationships were important because my Mom said they were.
Back then…these things were so simple & yes…convenient.
But now more than half a century on…
I have come to know that church is us…all who call upon the name of the Lord.
The church I love is but one of many seeking Christ’s love for a very troubled world.
That…there are just seekers…
Rather than similarity…the Kingdom of God…is wrapped in layer upon layer of diversity.
And the worship we love…is but one tradition…that tries to point us back to God…the spirit that is the manifestation of all that we proclaim.
The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
In these things I have matured…and no longer think like a child…
The journey we are on here…today…tomorrow…always…
A walk in faith…& not by sight…
I say these things to you in the name of god:
Father, Son & Holy Spirit