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Columnists

Acts of faith

Sarah Strang

Sarah-Strang.jpgNow faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. (Hebrews 11:1-3)
 Like wild horses almost blinded by the sun, we are called to run across unknown territory for Christ. Faith in action is a calling to selfless action in the hope and presence of a resurrected God, without any earthly direction, assurance or affirmation.

Acts of faith require more than belonging to a community, more than giving time, more than giving money. Acts of faith demand a soulful response, unfettered by mechanistic distractions. We are invited to offer the part of our innermost being where we are naked before God - sometimes a place where we are overwhelmed by joy and peace, sometimes a place where we are frightened and alone. Offering acts of faith without intimacy, giving as a limited transaction, without the mystery and presence of the Holy Spirit, can only create things that are seen. Investing our unceasing hearts, not only our minds and bodies, allows the presence of a Creator God to reign in our lives and actions. In making a collective self-sacrifice, we are able through the power of Creation to create a beauty that is frustratingly and gloriously unseen and invisible. Conversations with one another without heart and perhaps without forgiveness, are lost moments, given to us freely by the death of Christ.

Voluntary contributions to church life performed in a perfunctory manner stop the presence of something more than the merely practical from taking place. Giving financial aid in a spirit of prayerful reflection adds a value to a monetary sum beyond any knowledge of what the gift may buy. Hearts opened before our community means more than belonging to our community. Loosening identity and losing individualism is unnerving, yet this act is our foremost Christ like calling.

At times when we are tired, exhausted and lost, our task is to seek God's wisdom and understanding. To navigate uncomfortable plains to places where we can drink from the natural wellspring that is Christ. To receive an elixir from a stream of the purest, clearest water, to be refreshed in our duty and cleansed of sin. To accept with grace the gifts we are freely given.

In the business of our working lives, leisure, and family activity, times of excitement and hope, boredom and desperation, we are called to seek the unseen. In Christ we are called to give our whole selves, to be reminded of the ridicule and questioning that Jesus faced in his trial of belief in God the Creator and God the Father. In God we are given an unshakeable momentum and energy to act. To engage our hearts means we too do not deny the presence of the Creator of all things seen and unseen in the miraculous Kingdom of God.

Sarah Strang