Friday, April 8, 2011

What color is your faith?

But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.  --Jude 1:20
This advice is given by the author of Jude after he has spent most of the book talking about the infiltration of the faith community by those who are perverting the teaching of the faithful.

Do you have a "most holy faith"?  Do you think of your faith as being "most holy?"  How do you protect and guard it as such?  Stay with this thought and really think hard about it.  Does your faith need protecting?  Probably it does.  That was the author's concern for these Christians who had wolves among the sheep soundly condemning even the angels.  But how would YOU go about protecting your faith?  I think our faith is under assault more than we might even begin to suspect.  So if I say, "Watch out!"  Where would you begin your watch?

Maybe it would help to picture what your faith looks like.  How would you picture it in some art medium?  What color is your faith?  Can you carry your faith with you or do you visit it?  Is faith something you wear (like a prayer shawl?), or do you carry it (like a book?), or is it more like a fixture or piece of comfortable furniture located in some specific special place.  This was how the Ark of Covenant functioned in early Judaism; it is how a majestic cathedral sanctuary feels to others.  Is your faith tall as the sky and wide as the oceans?  Or, is it more like Julian of Norwich wrote, like a hazel nut?  In what ways does your faith, however you picture it, "build you up... and keep you in God's love?"  As I write all these questions, I'm not even sure of my own answers exactly; but it feels very much like its an important contemplative activity.  I hope you can spend some time with it.

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