Faith

FAITH

We all put our faith somewhere – even if perhaps we don’t realise it! The spiritual dimension within each one of us is a call to something beyond ourselves. It is a hunger of the heart; a longing for something more, a relationship which will complete us and fulfil our unspoken need. True religion is not the imposition of sets of rules; it is the discovery of a relationship which helps us make sense of life and leads us to the fullness of life.

Christian faith is based on the work and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Christians believe in a loving Father God who reveals himself firstly indirectly through His Creation – the world and beyond – then more directly through people – kings, prophets, priests before supremely through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Jesus shared our humanity on earth firstly by being born of a woman, Mary – that is what we celebrate at Christmas. Some thirty years later, after a ministry of three years demonstrating what God was really like by his way of life, he was put to death by the authorities of the time, only to confound them by, three days later, rising from the dead – that is what we celebrate at Easter. He then went back to his Father and the Holy Spirit came to empower us all to recognize God at work in everybody and everything.

Christianity is a living faith through that same Spirit who inspires, guides and leads us into all truth. Our faith encourages us, through the words of Jesus, to love God and to love one another.

Faith is a gift from God which we can choose to accept or not – God honours us with the opportunity to choose. Through reading the Scriptures and through prayer – both in church and on our own – we can grow in our faith to enrich our lives and to be active in the world for the good of ourselves and others. Jesus calls us to serve, not to be served.

Faith is not static but seeks always a greater understanding of God. We believe that God has a unique plan for each one of us and in finding our role we can discover that peace which the world cannot give and a freedom that is hard to understand.

The Bible says that faith is ‘the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.’ God has given us independent minds and does not expect us to have a blind faith. We believe in a God of mystery who is beyond our understanding but who reveals himself in his creation and desires for us to know Him more and more each day.

Jesus unrolled the scroll in the synagogue, found and read these words:

The spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for he has anointed me. He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord’s year of favour.’

He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to speak to them, ‘This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.’ Luke 4:16-21

These words were the starting point of the life work of Jesus – and a challenge for us to follow too.