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Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Blind Faith- stumbling your way to God!

Recently I had an encounter with a young adult who was confused, abused, and ready to give up on life, relationships and God. While at a United Methodist Church Conference in New Orleans L.A. , I had a spiritual encounter with this person on the world famous Bourbon St. It was a Tuesday night as I was in awe of the history of this fine city and it many religious cultures as well as experiencing my first Mardi Gras that we meet. He was fair complected, youthful and seemed healthy but also very conversational as he began to speak with me. After revealing that I was from Chicago and in town on business reluctantly I revealed I was a pastor here for church business. After all having theological conversations at 10p.m. in the middle of the street after a long day of church politics was the last thing I wanted to do but he very much needed. Almost on the verge of suicide and very much in despair our conversation immediately changed to Jesus and his disappointment in the Church and Church people. He felt like the world did not care if he was dead so why not be. We talked about Jesus love, and God's grace - mercy- forgiveness and awesome invitation. Then we prayed together, exchanged information and promised to walk towards recovery together. Sunday he went to church and approached a pastor for the 1st time in years. That Tuesday night both he and I had blind faith but on Bourbon St. we ended up finding our way to Jesus. Thanks be to God when we faith the kind we know and the kind we don't.

This reflection makes my mind center on Hebrews 11. I invite you take a look.

Hebrews 11:1-16 (NRSV)

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval. By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.

By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain's. Through this he received approval as righteous, God himself giving approval to his gifts; he died, but through his faith he still speaks. By faith Enoch was taken so that he did not experience death; and "he was not found, because God had taken him." For it was attested before he was taken away that "he had pleased God." And without faith it is impossible to please God, for whoever would approach him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, warned by God about events as yet unseen, respected the warning and built an ark to save his household; by this he condemned the world and became an heir to the righteousness that is in accordance with faith.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to set out for a place that he was to receive as an inheritance; and he set out, not knowing where he was going. By faith he stayed for a time in the land he had been promised, as in a foreign land, living in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith he received power of procreation, even though he was too old--and Sarah herself was barren--because he considered him faithful who had promised. Therefore from one person, and this one as good as dead, descendants were born, "as many as the stars of heaven and as the innumerable grains of sand by the seashore."

All of these died in faith without having received the promises, but from a distance they saw and greeted them. They confessed that they were strangers and foreigners on the earth, for people who speak in this way make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. If they had been thinking of the land that they had left behind, they would have had opportunity to return. But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; indeed, he has prepared a city for them.

Keep the faith- Love one another!

Until next time P.J.

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