One of my “things” for years at St. George’s has been being able to talk about the faith that is in us.  It hasn’t really taken.  Some people do get it, but most members of the congregation look at me blankly when I talk about sharing the faith that is in them — though they can do it if I ask the question another way.  So here, in advance, are my thoughts for next month’s newsletter:

One of the things I keep talking about is sharing the faith that’s in us. I get a lot of puzzled looks when I say this. But I suspect it’s really a question of terminology. I think we are all living out our faith in God. That’s just not how we name it.

We may talk about obedience and loyalty, to God and to God’s church. We may talk about helping someone, or the joy we experience in our worship and our fellowship.  We may talk about doing what’s needed around the church or the challenges of being a parent or a grandparent.

 I didn’t use the word “faith” once in that last paragraph. But everything I mentioned is part of living out our faith. Our faith is expressed, perhaps can only be expressed, in our ordinary, day-to-day living.

 Helen Luke talks about Charles Williams defining the art of living as “living the ordinary in extraordinary ways and living the extraordinary in ordinary ways.”  That’s faith. And she goes on to talk about Dame Janet Baker, a great singer, saying in an interview, “I’ve found that ordinary things are the important things … My gift is God given and it must be given back. We all have a gift to give, and if you give it with a sense of holy obligation everything clicks into place.” Using our gifts, whatever they may be, is living out our faith. It is also a normal and everyday part of simply living our lives.

 And Pierre Teilhard de Chardin says, “God at the most vitally active and most incarnate, is not remote from us … On the contrary, at every moment God awaits us in the activity, the work to be done, which every moment brings. God is, in a sense, at the point of my pen, my pick, my paintbrush, my needle – and my heart and my thought.”

 So the point is that we are with God, and God is with us, in the most everyday and mundane parts of living out our lives. That is where we find and live our faith. God and faith are never somewhere else. They are always present here and now, in whatever we may happen to be doing. Your life is your faith. It is God’s gift to you. And sharing it with others is your gift to God and to them.

So it’s all about how we talk about it, and how we think about it.  In another context, I like to say that everything we do (and do not do) is ministry.  It may be wonderful ministry or a poor excuse for ministry.  But what we do is our ministry.  How we live is our faith.  It isn’t about what we believe.  It’s about what we’ve staked our lives on.  And how we live is the only real answer to that.

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