Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1 NIV)
During Advent last year, our home fellowship group studied Hebrews, not typically the scriptures we would study this time of year. But, discussing faith and those heroes of faith in the pre-Christian era, who passed from this life without receiving the things promised them, started a great discussion about faith and what it means for us today.
We received God’s promise when He sent His son, Jesus, into the world to dwell among us. He saved us from sin and death when he went willingly to make the greatest sacrifice of all on the cross, and through His resurrection and ascension, left us with the promise of life everlasting with Him.
Our faith doesn’t come to us by sight or touch. We weren't there to witness the Ressurected Lord. Our faith is revealed to us by the Holy Spirit through the Word of God, the waters of baptism, and the sacraments of Holy Communion. We continue to grow in faith during our Christian life as the Holy Spirit leads and guides us. We can share our faith with others, but what we can’t do, is grow another person’s faith.
It has become commonplace, when things go wrong, to hear such things as, “Where is your God now?”
People falsely assume that faith in God means everything runs smoothly in life at all times. We see this often in Indian Country where whole families firmly believe God left them long ago.
Let us not forget the birth of Christ in the Christmas "off-season." But remember it as the beginning of our faith. And let us look forward to the next year, where we will continue to show Native communities that God loves them and will never leave them.
Gracious Lord, so many people are living with a dark void in their life. Draw all those who are hurting to you, so they might experience life in the light and know your love and forgiveness of sins. In Jesus' Name, Amen.