Our Understanding of Faith

Sunday, August 7 using Hebrews 11:1-3&8-16 as the text we pushed on our understanding of Faith.  Getting us to think about the fact that faith is something we practice every day as we sit down in our chair at work or school.  Most of us practice faith every time we crank our car, face it most don’t know how an internal combustion engine works so it is by faith that we turn the key.  Faith is the practice of believing where we cannot see and yet faith is based on something that is real.  The writer of the letter of Hebrews pointed to people who had lived by faith and the receivers of the letter knew their story.  These followers of God centered their life on what God put before them and they had faith it would happen as God stated.  We now have their stories to show us what faith is all about.  Faith in God is not just a hope or a maybe.  God is an ever present reality and worth all we have.  Faith is also the foundation of our United Methodist Appointment Process.  There was no job interview for me before I became your pastor.  You had never heard me preach, I did not come and learn about you, I was called and told I was coming here to be your pastor and you were told you new pastor’s name will be Greg.  We have faith in God that it will be what God desires.  It is by faith that every United Methodist Pastor loads his or her family and moves them to a new church.  It is by faith that every United Methodist Church receives a new pastor.  We have faith that God is at the center of this process and it is God that will lead us as we serve God together.  We have to have a firm grasp on the fact that God is real and with our faith in God we can face the struggles and the ups and downs of the world.  I used this illustration from the life of Joni Eareckson Tada, she wrote, “At four, I was too young to have a house of my own, and I am not sure a horse fit for a four-year-old could have kept up with my father and sisters.  So when we went houseback riding I sat behind my father on his big horse.  With my tiny hands, I’d hang on to the back of his belt and away we’d go.  I’d bounce up and down in the saddle, sliding this way and that, but as long as I had a strong hold on his belt, I knew I was safe.”  I know in the world we live in there are a lot of up and down and sliding this way and that but if we place our faith in the reality of God we will always be safe.

This Sunday, August 14 I am excited to share that Rev. Will Waller will be here to share the sermon with his home church congregation.  Will was ordained an elder in the United Methodist Church this summer in the Virginia Annual Conference.  I am looking forward to meeting him and sharing worship with him this coming Sunday.  Rev. Waller will preach at all three worship services.