Okay. I have the word "Faith" written up in the summary under the title of this blog.
I haven't said much here about my faith. Mostly because Faith is such a personal and intimate thing for people that many of us would much rather prefer if we never said anything about it to each other. We all want to believe our OWN things about God, Life, the Universe, and the Price of Fish in China.
When it comes to Christianity - it gets even murkier and muddier still. Not many people outside of the institutional church want much to do with the constraints and fixations of we christians. We are too wierd, too flawed, too arrogant. We profess so much of what is NOT Gospel and expect that the world will listen. We speak of Love and Hope but rarely demonstrate it unless it happens to come with commandments.
There IS love and hope and gentleness within the Church, it's in the quiet places, in the hidden places where people just go about being who they believe rather than just saying what they think they believe. There is much to love about the Christian Church - IF you can see it through the eyes of Christ.
I'm no angel, but I am a Saint! I live in a world that you can't get to unless you come inside my Faith with me and explore this world for yourself through the understanding of the Holy Spirit. I've been given something so unique and powerful that it's difficult to describe as a human construct. It's more than real, it's blimmin' unreal! :) I have access to incredible riches of Joy, Hope and Love. I KNOW I am deeply and intensely loved by my Creator. I KNOW that my flawed and faulty nature will never match the perfection of God but despite that He chooses me again and again and again to walk with Him.
I wear a chain pretty much permanently around my neck. On it hangs three small elipses, each one engraved with a symbol and a word that mark out for the world what I am and what I believe.
On the back of each elipse is a text from the Bible which says what I know to be true for each concept.
Firstly "FAITH" John 11:25-27 (The Message)
"You don't have to wait for the End. I am, right now, Resurrection and Life. The one who believes in me, even though he or she dies, will live. And everyone who lives believing in me does not ultimately die at all. Do you believe this?"
"Yes, Master. All along I have believed that you are the Messiah, the Son of God who comes into the world."
Next is "HOPE" (My favourite :)) 1 Peter 1:3-5 (The Message)
What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we've been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven--and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you'll have it all--life healed and whole.
And finally and as importantly "LOVE" 1 John 4:10-12 (The Message)
This is the kind of love we are talking about--not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they've done to our relationship with God.
My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us--perfect love!
These three texts and the three symbols, The Cross for Faith, shaped like a sword, the Anchor for Hope, the Heart for Love - perfect love without constraints or conditions - these are the essential creed by which I wish to live.
I don't want to proselytise you and MAKE you believe the same things I do. I couldn't even if I did want to. We cannot come to God ourselves - or even believe in Christ by ourselves. This faith - this impossible belief - happens only when you are given the eyes to see these things for yourself by God himself. The only thing He wants is that you allow Him to show it to you!
It's really that simple!
There is so much that is flawed in a christian but at the same time there is much that holds the greatest potential to demonstrate the truth of who God is. You will find it wherever there is love, hope, joy and inspiring faith which transcends ordinary life and lifts you up to the most beautiful and wonderful of places. Genuine Christianity is warm, honest, open and gentle. It's kind and never self-centred. The arms of Christ, his hands, his feet, his wisdom and his sacrifice are evident in the beautiful christian. There is no lie there - just truth and a glimpse of heaven. There can be no room for bigotry or judgement from us. We are the guilty, rescued, so who are we to judge anyway?
I wear my chain to remind me of these things. It hangs like army dog-tags on my chest, always there to let me know how deeply I am loved and to remind me how much I need to show you that same kind of love even when I keep on failing at it time and time again. I trust that my God forgives me when I do.
This is my creed. I thank God for it.