Posted by: jevcat | February 22, 2010

Thoughts on the First Sunday in Lent

Thoughts on Lent I

 At church this morning the sermon was on trust.  At first it seemed an odd – or at least different – topic for the first Sunday in Lent, but as I thought about it, it began to seem less odd.  Lent, it is often said, is a journey:  There is no way to walk the Way of the Cross without trust.

 I have problems with trust, at least as far as God is concerned.  My Beloved, a Lutheran/Buddhist/Native American in his spirituality who has – sort of – adopted the Episcopal Church into which I was born – frequently chastises me for not trusting the Creator enough.  I try to explain to him that I do trust.  I believe that God is always with us, that “nothing can separate us from the love of God,” a passage that floods me with warmth and peace.  It’s just that I know that doesn’t necessarily change things (and yes, I do know it changes everything, too).  God was with the Christians in ancient Rome, but when the lions entered the arena, the Christians were still on the menu.  And so I struggle.

I come by it naturally, though.  While Mom’s trust rarely wavered (although it was accompanied by a fair amount of worrying), Dad had more difficulty, and I find myself adopting a line he often used, always delivered with a rueful half-smile:  “Oh me of little faith.”

 Our preacher this morning noted that Hebrew has four different words for “trust.”  Maybe I should investigate to see if one of them fits my own combination of doubt and faith.  Meanwhile, on with the journey:  “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”

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Responses

  1. You are not alone but in very good company of many believers who have the same problem. Just this week I visited with a senior citizen who is one of the most committed Christian I know and yet she questions and wonders….Don’t we all?

  2. “I believe; help, Thou, my unbelief!” has been my Christian mantra for my whole Christian life. (Jevcat knows this, but – for readers who don’t and might find this interesting – I’m a priest who was reared by atheist parents). Here are a couple of others, though (not from the Bible) that help me when I’m assailed by doubt and fear. These are Christian button, bumper sticker and t-shirt slogans.
    1. “If God can take you to it, God can get you through it.”
    2. “Relax. God is in charge.”
    3. “Too blessed to be stressed.”


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