In his book, Beloved, Henri Nouwen, writes, “…we are called to more faith, to continue to listen to the voice of God, who calls us the beloved, to continue to be at the feet of Jesus. That’s where my identity is rooted, that’s who I am—”
In my role, as Deacon of Faith Formation, I have been blessed to see faith formed in so many ways, across the generations. From families re-connecting during funerals to kids laughing as they prepare for their Confirmation service, God calls us to more faith. And, it happens in so many ways.
I feel that our world is so divided and chaotic these days. I find solace and strength in my faith and my relationship with God. But it needs work. It isn’t easy. I find myself finding more faith as I personally meditate, pray and do daily devotions. For each of us, we are on our own journey to form, re-shape and strengthen our faith each day and over the years of our life.
2 Peter 1: 5 says, “For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge.” The book of 2 Peter is a letter written to a general Christian audience. This letter warned the early believers against becoming distracted and losing heart in God’s promises. Knowing that early Christians struggled to “keep the faith” shows us the importance of doing the same. Faith must be more than belief in certain facts; it must result in action and discipline. In 2 Peter, Peter lists several actions of faith, including learning to know God better, developing endurance and godliness, and loving other. These actions don’t come automatically; they require hard work. All of this must be a continual part of the Christian life. But here’s the good news: God will help you be all that you can be. Our world may be different than the early Christians but the struggle to form faith and strengthen faith is the same. It takes work. It takes discipline. It takes a community.
As a parent raising two athletes, I see how hard they work to become better at their sport. From what they eat to how they train, they want to be at their best for themselves, for their coaches and their teams. It is the same for faith. The Bible and Henri Nouwen reminds us to be called to more faith, to make every effort to support our faith. It is where your identity is rooted as a loved, Child of God. The world around us is unsettled. We need to find solace and strength in God and in our faith. So, find a place of worship, find a group of people, explore new ways personally to hear God’s voice to center yourself and continue to form your faith in new ways. You need it. The world needs it.