There are times when faith can feel solid and certain to us. I would venture that the popular image of faith, portrayed in the media, is a quality of certitude, of Christians as people who know exactly what they believe with a firm sense of rules, boundaries and how to respond to the world around us. Some want a faith that is fixed and unchanging, a sure and certain solid rock built on the promises and presence of God. I suspect all of us want a faith that we know will always hold us up. In my experience, faith can also have a very fluid quality in the way we experience and make sense of it. Faith can have a tentative and questioning quality. Faith is often more about the questions we raise about God, God’s will, scripture, and how we are to live, than the specific answers we form and carry. Faith is more often about how we make sense of life’s challenges and difficulties and understanding how God works in these moments and what God wants of us as faithful people.
We begin our season of Lent, a time of reflection and introspection. We focus more deliberately on the journey of Jesus to the cross and to Easter. This was never a straightforward journey for Jesus. In these weeks, we look at the meaning of discipleship and how we follow Christ through life’s uncertainties, failures and unsettledness. During Lent we are doing a worship series on the Gifts of the Dark Wood and exploring how times of difficulty and failure become places that reveal insights to us about ourselves and our beliefs. Instead of living our lives trying to avoid the dark places, we learn to see and receive their gifts to us. Uncertainty abounds in our world, given the realities of economics, politics, terrorism, and our increasingly fragile planet. We want to cultivate a strong and durable trust in God as we face uncertain times. We want to discover a way to receive and understand the insights from uncertainty as life unfolds for us. Join us Sunday for our Lenten worship series and the gifts that will come to each of us as we journey to the cross and Easter.