‘Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ Hebrews 11:1 KJV
‘For we walk by faith, not by sight.’ II Corinthians 5:7 NKJV
‘And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard see, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.’ Matthew 17:20 KJV
Did you ever feel like that you were on the road of life alone?
I think that this is especially true when life reversals assail our constructed myth of peace and harmony.
We are reared to believe that if we work hard and play by the rules that a comfortable and middle class life style will be ours and that this, mental photo torn from a Sears and Roebuck catalog, will be our utopia.
We trust that if we can just build a high enough wall…the undesirables will not interfere with our, hard worked for peace and tranquility, and that we will be sheltered from the vagaries and horrors of the human existence that so many of our fellow travelers endure.
In 2011, Mary Jane and I travelled to the island of Jamaica. From the air port to the Sandals Resort, that we were staying at for a week, was a ninety minute drive by bus. During the bus trip we witnessed abject poverty and deprivation and Jamaicans that were ill clad and ill housed and ill fed.
When we entered the Resort…it was Nirvana. Everything was beautiful and ornate and manicured to perfection. We were offered a glass of champagne by our hosts and a damp towel to cool our brow.
During the course of our week stay…we luxuriated in the beaches and swam in the pools and had our choice of Jamaican delicacies in, no less than five, wonderful restaurants.
Food and drink…were unlimited.
At the conclusion of our week in Jamaica…we boarded the bus, again, for the ninety minute drive back to the airport…and the degradation and the sorrow…of the real Jamaica…was on view for every mile of the journey.
Even, so, with our lives…as we enjoy the temporal treasures that our labors and our luck have afforded us.
What is God trying to teach us…during our short time in this life?
The people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki…had no warning that complete and total devastation was going to fall from their sun lit skies.
Is the christian life supposed to be an endorphin high?
Or is it a life…in Christ’s example a life of sacrifice and suffering and realization that everything that we see and touch, including each other, goes back to dust…entropy.
What is the dynamic of church? Is it a club where our many needs, both emotional and physical, are met and satisfied…much as the experience that we had at the Sandals Resort in Jamaica?
Or is the church a call to stewardship and working outside our comfort zone and reaching out to the poor and destitute and the mentally ill and the unwanted and unwashed and forgotten?
Are we seeking a minister that tickles our ears and salves our conscience…or are we looking for: ‘In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea. And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. And the same John had his raiment of camel’s hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.’ Matthew 3: 1-4 KJV