Lenten Reflection Five – Walking Into Faith
Faith in a Box
We try to capture God with rational formulas and rigid beliefs. Some of that is necessary. We want our faith to make sense, so we construct a box to hold it. It’s sealed with rational propositions, holding the box shut like packaging tape. But for Christians, an infinite God present in every molecule of Creation can’t be so conveniently contained. Further this God’s incarnate human presence in the form of a wounded, suffering servant doesn’t make sense. Neatly organized propositional systems requiring belief as a ticket of admission may bring rational comfort and clarity, but do they yield faith?
Question: Will Belief in Beliefs Save You?
Reconnecting Heads and Bodies
Reacting against superstition, infallible religious authorities, and corruption, the Reformation reconstructed Christian faith, with coherent rational systems. The Enlightenment’s sovereignty of reason fit well most of the time. But too easily, heads were severed from bodies. In Edwin Muir’s words, “The Word-made-flesh here is made word again.” In reaction, religion for some retreated into unvarnished emotion. The whole person was left unintegrated. When we begin walking on a pilgrimage, however, the physical and the spiritual connect intimately. Body, mind, and soul are woven back together. Faith burns in that crucible.
Exercise: How do you experience faith beyond rational belief? Make a list of those ways, practices, or activities when your religious faith finds expression beyond thoughts and words. Write in your journal, or share with a group, what helps you walk into faith.