When I googled images of ‘faith’, it was fascinating to see how often there appeared a picture of someone leaping from one precipice to another. I guess it may have something to do with the expression ‘a leap of faith’, but it struck me how different is the Christian experience of faith.
In the ‘leap’ image, faith is known between two certainties. Or between what is presumed to be certain. One could always slip while leaving one solid rock or land short of the other. The rock itself could conceivably crack. A powerful headwind could suddenly arise.
When I think of faith, I do not think of my ability to jump, or of a time between certainties. For me, faith is the assurance that I am never ‘on my own’, or ‘between’. Faith is not defined by what my feeling or activity or circumstance, but by the assurance known in Jesus Christ that I am always accompanied and even carried.
As a Canadian Presbyterian it was the Westminster Catechism that shaped my early theological perspectives. Its first question is answered ‘Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever’. This is solid stuff, placing our lives squarely upon the sovereignty and certainty of God. But I must admit I sometimes find that the Heidelberg Catechism held so dearly by my Christian Reformed sisters and brothers touches my heart more fully – ‘My only comfort in life and in death is that I belong to Jesus Christ, my faithful Saviour’. Yes, this is faith, in the Christian context. It is all about Jesus, what God has done through him, what God assures us in him.
So for an image, I prefer not a ‘leap’ between certainties but a ‘path’ upon certainty. Faith knows many seasons and circumstances, but it is the assurance God gives us that we travel not alone, nor in vain. We are on a journey, sometimes wild, sometimes wonderful, but one laid down by Jesus ‘for us and our salvation’ as the ancient Nicene Creed declares. This Sunday we continue through Hebrews and come to the great verse, ‘Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the certainty of things unseen’ (Hebrews 11:1).
Thanks be to God. Join us as we gather in the worship of God. There is a nursery for infants and a programme for children during the service. There is free parking along the streets around and in the public lot just behind the church off Queen Street. Have a look at the order of service, and be sure to consider the announcements as a personal invitation to join in faith, fellowship and service with us.