Keeping Faith: In Celebration

What do I mean keeping faith in celebration? Is it about coping with others who are in a celebratory mood? Holding onto God when you are struggling and all your friends are full of faith, Godly expectations, and stories to support the awesome richness of what the Lord is doing in their lives?

Well I would like us to explore a different idea today.  One that is about keeping faith when faith is easy, when it’s fun and struggle is minimal or non existent. I am not sure we ever settle in those moments, but perhaps we don’t push as hard to deepen our walk with God? Discuss.

I am not saying struggle is good, but that some struggle helps us to strive for more of God, a deeper walk, a greater awareness of the presence of the Lord in our own lives. To be clear, I mostly struggle rather than find being a disciple easy!

You are probably familiar with the story in Luke’s gospel when Jesus heals ten blokes who have leprosy. This was a disease that meant you were socially excluded from your community and ended up living together with other Lepers.

So when Jesus heals them, not only are they physically healed, but also socially healed and reunited with their families. Pretty awesome right, and these ten guys are pretty jubilant, who wouldn’t be. If you have just been healed from a crippling disease and have not seen your family, for who knows how long what would you do next?

Well as the story goes one bloke, yes that’s right one bloke, turns back to Jesus. Perhaps he had no family to see, or no friends, or just no better place to be. But like Mary in the Mary and Martha story, he chose right.  The others chose to be preoccupied with, and understandably so, celebrating with fa
mily and friends and being reintroduced into society.

But this bloke knelt at Jesus’ feet and worshiped, he somehow recognised the enormity of what was happening around him, turning back to worship.  He didn’t sing a few hymns or read scripture, he laid himself out before Jesus, acknowledging who it was who had healed him, who saved him from the incarceration that is this disease.

tebow-2-620x362We have all seen the athlete who takes a moment in a stadium of thousands, kneeling on the ground and point their finger in the air or sign the cross.  There is a need when life is good, when life is amazing, to take a moment, to recognise, to honour God, for the talent, opportunity, air in your lungs, or whatever, that has come your way.

Remember to take a moment in whatever way is comfortable, like the Samaritan in the story of the 10 lepers did. To be vulnerable before God, recognising whilst you might be blessed or honoured or lifted up, there is one who is greater still, creator of all that is and is to come, author and perfecter of all that makes you, well you.

Sometimes we may think we can only speak to God when our chips are down and life sucks? We may think that we can only ask when we are in need, we can only follow Jesus when we are broken.

If we truly believe we are in a relationship with the living God, that is a two way thing. Let’s not be the friend who is always saying what’s wrong or focuses on the darkness, but also speak to the Lord of what lights up your life as well.

Tell Jesus about cherished dreams that get fulfilled, thank him for the prayer that does get answered and ask him to seal it in your hearts and memories, for when we doubt and when faith doesn’t come easy. So when those times come, when we get a little lost and distant from God, we can remember how good God is and can be, and may that light bring us home to a God who knows our name, who we are, and loves us tremendously truly, and eternally. A God who puts things in our way more than we could imagine or ever have hoped for.

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