This Week's Reflection

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This Week's Reflection

Not surprisingly faith is one of those words that comes up a lot when you are a minister, not least because my work is to be what you might call a “professional faith person”. But much as we use the word “faith” what does it actually mean?

For many people it will mean following a set of beliefs (or doctrines), but I suspect this is only part of what faith means. I think faith is much more about how we live life than simply following a set of beliefs.

Faith helps us when we can’t see the way forward, because faith is opposite of certainty. Certainty says we do things because we know for sure what the outcome will be. However the truth of life for many, and most of us during this pandemic, is that we have less certainty in our lives than we might hope for, so we need a great deal of faith to simply live our day to day lives. We need faith that says we have the strength we need to live life in the here and now and faith that reminds us that when we don’t have that strength there are things we can do and people we can turn to who can help us find that strength or be that strength on our behalf. We need faith that encourages us to see love and live love in a world that is incredibly harsh and difficult because without that kind of faith we can become cynical and can tend to blame those who we think are to blame rather than seeing what we can do to make a change. And we need faith that reminds us that it’s not all about us by revealing to us the bigger picture of our connection not only to the wider world around us now, but also to all that has been and all that is yet to come. Faith like this grounds us and can help us not to panic, fearing that we have to get it all right or else we are doomed. This kind of faith is vital in the massive climate crisis we face as it reminds us that it is ok for us to simply do our bit, however small that might seem, because we have faith to believe that our small bit connects with the small bits of others and together we will make a difference.

In the bible faith is described as being “the conviction of things not seen.” This tells me that faith is about the unseen things that go on within us and around us that help us to live as the people God knows we can be. It gives me the image of an iceberg where there is more going on under the water than we see above the water. Faith is all that supports us and encourages us and feeds us and holds us. Life is hard and full of uncertainty, but faith reminds us that there is a lot more to life than the parts we know and see and that there so much going on that keeps us from toppling or going under.

Today we remember the life of Sir David Amess, MP. He was a man of great faith and his faith informed his politics. Whether we agreed with all that he stood for or not, he was a man who put his faith into action and who knew that he needed to serve people, whatever the cost. This service has cost him dearly and today we give thanks for his faith and for all that he gave to those he served. We also remember his family, friends and colleagues at this time, praying that they will find the comfort they need. We also prayer for the peace of our world and for peace within our lives.

Rev Anne Sardeson