Statements of Faith

Texts for the Second Sunday of Epiphany (Jan. 17).

1 Samuel 3:1-10 (11-20)
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
John 1:43-51

The LORD called Samuel again, a third time. And Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the LORD was calling the boy. Therefore Eli said to Samuel, “Go, lie down; and if he calls you, you shall say, ‘Speak, LORD, for your servant is listening.'” So Samuel went and lay down in his place. Now the LORD came and stood there, calling as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.”
1 Samuel 3:8-9

Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”
John 1:45-46


This week I’ve been imagining a lot of horrifying “What Ifs.” Imagination doesn’t really equate to preparation, but I tend to think that if I have fully imagined all the possible awful realities then I can be prepared for them when they play out. (IF they play out, but in my head it is always WHEN.)

Maybe for some people faith is imagination, believing what we can’t see.

But when I’m stuck in endless cycles of What If-ing, imagining all the scenarios, feeling responsible to be ready for all of them… I need expressions of faith, and I need them to be Real. My imagination is occupied, and I need my senses to step in.

I need to feel faith: prayer beads around my wrist, hope (“an anchor for the soul,” as the writer said) pressing into my palm. Saying: Hold on.

I need to get on the treadmill and feel my breath burning in my lungs. Saying: Be here, now.

I need to twine yarn through my fingers and feel it knitting together. Saying: Make something new.

I need to turn the pages of books, to study, to take notes, to write sentences. Saying: Use your words.

I need to write plans in the calendar. To start new projects. To give where it is needed. And to mask up. Saying: Another day is coming.

Saying: We can only get there together.

And

I need friends pointing the way, showing me where to look. I need to see faith on the road, to be surprised by it in the least-expected places. I need to hear myself saying: I know You.

I need the wisdom of trusted teachers, helping me to know whose voice is speaking through the darkness. I need to hear faith calling. I need to hear myself saying: Yes.

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