Last week we began to look at faith and what does it mean for us? Our inquiry was led by the book Faith-Sharing, by H. Eddie Fox and George E. Morris. They offered us this understanding of faith: “Christian faith is a centered, personal, relational response involving trust and obedience.” As you will remember we explored some distance into this statement. At the end I said this week we would explore the elements trust and obedience.
Last week I gave you a statement that Fox and Morris wrote concerning trust: “Our very existence and identity is constituted by the pattern or network of trusts that we hold.” I believe this is a foundational statement about who we are. Jesus expressed this reality when he told the disciples to not worry about things “for where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.” We today remain in a financial pickle because as a people we had put our trust in our financial institutions to act in the interest of the common good. That trust was certainly misplaced and now today many have suffered financial loss and insecurity about the future because of it. And how many of us who haven’t seen family and friend trust systems collapse around us leaving us out in the cold, lonely and frightened.
If we can not trust these other things or systems, what can we trust. Have you ever noticed that the Bible spends a great deal of time telling us what God has done, what God is doing, and what God will do? Understanding what God has done and what God is doing gives a foundation for trust in the future or what God will do through Jesus Christ. Notice that I am not saying put your trust in this or that belief or doctrine about God, but to trust in that God has acted, that God is acting, and that God will act in the future through the Messiah, Jesus for the purpose of reconciling all creation to God for God’s glory. Trusting in God in this way we can give ourselves over to God and allow God to shape and form us in some very exciting ways. The next step is that we truly become Christian for to be Christian is to put our trust in the Christ, Jesus.
The authors, Fox and Morris, also rightly point out that trust leads to obedience. They go on to say: “To trust God is to submit ourselves to the Lordship of Christ.” As submit ourselves to the rule of Christ Jesus, we will begin to reevaluate our trusts, and those trusts will either fall away or align themselves behind the central trust in the kingship and rule of Christ Jesus. In time trust leading to obedience will allow us to find a new joy as we grow closer to God and be comfortable waiting on God as Jesus so many times instructs us.
So if we have a faith that is centered on God through Christ Jesus, that is a personal experience of God through our relation ship through the Living Christ, and that has established us in a right relationship with God and others, in trust and obedience then the authors of Faith-Sharing say we have a “contagious” faith.
Next week will answer the question posed by the authors themselves: “If Christian faith is so dynamic and infectious, why are we seeing so little contagion within our movement?”