Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Provocative Pistos

The writer of Hebrews begins what human beings have structured into "chapter 11" (hope there's no correlation - yikes!) with "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for."

The writer goes on to list examples - but there is no final resolution in the context to life in the mode of taking in oxygen and giving off carbon dioxide (might as well be monoxide ;-D ). There is always a sojourning aspect.(v 13 And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth... v 16 Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.")

TWICE - it says that none of them received what has been promised (vv 13 & 39).

So what good is our stepping out in faith and going from a mostly conventional and convenient context to a destiny full of uncertainties and what appears as instability??? - the LONGING. And God is not ashamed to be called "their" God.

It has dawned on me recently that God's greatest Kingdom (reigning) moments were achieved with and through those who were mobile and a bit uncertain. A look back at the Story reveals that all the trouble took place when people were settled and surrounded by secure edifices.

Now we're at a point where faith/believe ("pistos") is provoking us. We are all over the map emotionally (excited, angry and trusting). We thought we communicated our vision with integrity. We discussed the option of selling our house (telling people that we were downsizing) and then making known the direction we sensed to venture out. No. That would not be just.

So we inform the church that we are pursing our vision and that we will be conscientious to make every effort to provide a smooth transition - and when we depart will be contingent on the sale of our house. Lord - what happened? Did we do this wrong??? Some have said so. What other way could we have done this? You're in control (I think). Why would a leadership cluster decide that 90 days is long enough? I'm still trying to figure out - who's the "hoser" and who is the "hosee?"

I thought I knew what faith was as I have taught and encouraged people for 30 years. Now I'm pondering what it really is. I know what I hope for and I have a pretty good idea of what I want to see. The "sure" and the "certain" part are evading me now.



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