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The Vicar's Vision

December 2010

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.




Pittsburgh Lutheran United Ministries (PLUM), 405 Kennedy Avenue, Duquesne, PA 15110        412-466-7773