Each week Pastor Sarah offers a devotional reflection to connect with the South Shore UMC Family. Use this entry as a way to prepare your heart and mind for worship. See you Sunday!
This Sunday the South Shore UMCommunity concludes our sermon series on *BURNOUT*! Join us as we are encouraged and empowered to re-engage life as God intends for us.
I will reference Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski's book Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle throughout this sermon series. Join us safely in-person for this time of study or connect with us via our YouTube Channel - www.youtube.com/c/southshoreumc. And if you think someone in your life would benefit from participating in this study, share an invitation with them to join the South Shore UMCommunity!
Sunday’s Scripture ~ I Kings 19:14-16, 19.
Devotional Scripture ~ Hebrews 11:6.
Faith is both believing and acting.
Jesus instructs us in the Sermon on the Mount to ask, search, and knock,
“Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened (Mt 7:7-8).
By asking, searching, and knocking we pursue God. We look at the “unknowableness” of God and say “we will see about that.” While our God does not owe us answers, our God wants to be known. Our God came to earth - was made flesh and dwelt among us - so that we would know God.
Still, mystery remains with God and as part of God. God is not playing games. God is not being coy. I am convinced that God lovingly discerns and decides the timing of our revelations - the timings of our growth in the knowledge of God.
By knowing we believe. And because of our belief, we act.
Our faith is not meant to live in a pretty box, placed on a high shelf, that we see and do not use regularly. As one of my mentors once said, our faith - which is the root of our discipleship - is not meant to be like “our grandmother’s china” - that lives in the cabinet - is seldom used - we hope future generations will want to have - even treasure! - though we have taught them through our inaction that it is only for special occasions.
If even then...
Wow, right? Thank you, Cynthia, for this continued image of and call to accountability!
For our faith to be real it must be allowed to live. And if our faith lives, then we risk it not being pretty. We risk it rubbing up against the hurt of the world. We risk letting God down. We risk choosing to rely on something or someone else rather than on God. But I will risk all those things before I have a fake faith. Or before I have a faith that is all talk and no walk. Or a faith that is only in words and not words and deeds.
Jesus calls us to be hearers and doers of the Word. This is an essential and necessary understanding of our call to discipleship. Hearing the Word is how we gain knowledge of and about our faith. Doing the Word is how we put the knowledge of our faith into action.
Faith is knowledge. Faith is action. Both.
Faith is not our grandmother’s china.
Reflection: Thinking about your faith, is your faith believing, acting, or like your grandmother’s China? What changes, resources, and conversations do you need to consider in pursuit of an engaged faith that encompasses both believing and acting? Both hearing and doing?
Prayer: "Take time to be holy, the world rushes on; spend much time in secret with Jesus alone. By looking to Jesus, like him thou shalt be; thy friends in thy conduct his likeness shall see."* Amen.
*”Take Time To Be Holy,” The United Methodist Hymnal 395.
**Devotional Resource: The Weekly Faith Project by Zondervan.