We’re all on a journey of faith. We may be on different points, or reflect different feelings & thoughts on that journey, but a journey none-the-less. If you’re reading this, you may have some questions about your own. Like a path which has been trod & worn by many feet, there are those who’ve passed through life’s journey before us, maybe your life reflects one of these listed below…
Many are disillusioned with organized religion having experienced the devastation of unchecked power in corrupt religious leaders. Flowery stories are told, but then the true dark underbelly of ‘church’ is revealed. In the book of John, chapter 3 verses 1-21, Nicodemus probably felt the same about his religious experience coming to Jesus one evening. He found him to be different. Jesus was real, powerful & challenging. As a community we seek to listen well to Jesus as Nicodemus did that evening. We're open about our brokenness. We don’t hide behind a façade of having all the right answers. We don’t engage in 'Us vs. Them' arguments. We make mistakes, for sure, but we try to walk this journey of faith with Jesus as best we can.
Have you wondered about life? Why, even amidst the chaos, there’s something profoundly beautiful to be found? Are you grasping for hope, wondering if there’s any to be found? There’s a story of an Ethiopian who was reading the book of Isaiah found in the book of Acts chapter 8 verses 26-40. A follower of Jesus asked if he understood what he was reading. The Ethiopian’s reply was that he wanted to, but how can he without help. The journey of faith is best done in community. Divorced from others we hobble along not fully understanding. As a community we satiate that thirst together, wrestling with questions collectively. We don’t have all the answers, but we journey towards Jesus together.
Questions are good. Thomas had them, and Jesus was not threatened by them. His story is found in the book of John chapter 20 verses 24-31. In the painting by Caravaggio titled ‘Doubting Thomas’, we see Jesus taking the hand of Thomas & leading the questioning process. He invites sincere questions from those that want to know him. We invite them as well. Even the most learned have them: deep questions, simple questions, frightening questions. None are threatening. Thomas found his answers in relationship with Jesus & in the faith community.
On a Journey of Faith
There’s a story found in the book of Acts chapter 17 verses 16-34 where the Apostle Paul meets a group of devout people in his travels. Like him, they were on a journey of faith. In the center of town he noticed a sculpture dedicated to ‘an unknown god’. Paul shared about his journey with Jesus. The unknown became known, as they heard the story of a god who lovingly pursues people in grace. Jesus does not embody the false image of an angry god bent on punishment. The faith community should reflect the peace of God, which is a foretaste of heaven. However imperfect & falteringly we stumble along with him, he is patient & full of grace towards us.