Wednesday Easter 5 – 2017

May 17, 2017  

Hebrews 11:1
John 14:1-14

As I read from Hebrews, it is written “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Faith is something we talk a lot about. That’s the point of being here, right? We are here because we have faith… faith in God. Faith in the triune God: Father, son, and Holy Spirit.

Although we talk a lot about faith, and about what we have faith in… we might be assuming we really know what faith IS.

The easy answer is that faith is belief. You or I or we believe something to be true. When our beliefs are based on facts, they are easy to prove and so easy to have. (At least when we are basing beliefs on facts that are actually facts…)

When we believe in something that is not based on facts, that is not provable scientifically or logically, we have what I call faith.

“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Faith is a matter of the heart. For example, I have faith in my spouse.

Faith is a matter of the soul. For example, I have faith that there is more to life than just our physical selves.

Faith is a matter of trust. For example, I trust you are here today because you believe in the triune God. I have faith in your presence.

An example of a belief: I believe airplanes can fly. I see them fly over my house several times a day. I have ridden in them.

An example of faith: I have faith in the pilots who fly planes. When I step on a plane I trust the pilot will get me, and everyone else, safely to our destination.

“Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

Years ago, right after Christmas, I was visiting my twin sister’s family. At that time they lived in a house in Rockford, IL. The family room of the house was added on over the garage. To get into the family room from the living room we had to go down a short flight of steps.

My nephew, who was 2 ½ at the time told me he wanted to fly. He didn’t mean he wanted to fly in an airplane, he meant he wanted to fly. Then he turned around, climbed up that short flight of stairs that went into the family room, and stood, waiting to jump.

He told me to stand at the bottom of the stairs. I was supposed to catch him.

My nephew and I had never played this “flying” game before. He had no idea I would actually catch him. He knew I could carry him. And he knew I loved him. With that knowledge, he had faith I would catch him. And so he jumped. And I caught him.

Life demands faith. Faith in others. Faith in ourselves. Faith in God.

Jesus said “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me.”

He said those words to the disciples. The disciples had already given up everything to follow Jesus: careers, families, comforts, security. All they had left in their lives was a Call to follow Jesus. When Jesus said “Let not your hearts be troubled” he had just told them he was leaving them. Of course their hearts were troubled! They didn’t know where he was going. They wanted to go where he was going. After all, they had a Call, to follow him.

It seemed Jesus was talking in riddles. He was going to his “Father’s house.” They didn’t know the way to his Father’s house.
You know the Father. You have seen him” No, they hadn’t seen him.
So they said “Show us.”

Show us.
We need to see before we believe.

Do we?

Do we need to see before we believe? Or do we have faith?

We are here because of our faith, our faith in God.

Because we have faith in God, Jesus believed and believes: we will do great things.

Great things.

The greatest of which is to love one another. As we have been loved. We believe in the love of God.  We have faith in Jesus Christ.

May God’s Spirit empower us to love as we have been loved.

Amen.