This is Part Two in a three part series. You can read the Part One here.
As I was saying…
Their faith was real (i.e. the fruits of the spirit were evident in their lives) while at the same time they were quiet, lit candles, worshiped with people who wore robes (or wore them themselves) while peacefully honoring our Lord. I found myself asking them about their faith. Asking myself and the Lord, “Is there something I am missing or more importantly could add to my faith by learning from these friends?”
Providentially Speaking: These things happened within a week of each other-about a month ago:
1. Thursday Annie asks if I’ll consider reviewing a book about Advent on my blog (stay tuned, by the way). I agree to do so although I confess (now) that I was doing something else (getting her a recipe or something?) when she asked me so I was distracted and didn’t really understand what I was agreeing to.
2. The Lord speaks to me at church on Sunday about our family understanding more about and appreciating the importance of “Advent” and other “significant church celebrations”. This is vague because I don’t actually know what “significant church celebrations” are.
3. Monday we have our pastor and his family over for dinner. We find out he used to be a Methodist Priest. He shares with us his heart on bridging the liturgical faith traditions with evangelical faith traditions (or lack thereof). I should add here that this is my paraphrase, not his. I’m not sure if that’s how he’d put it-but it’s what I got out of it. I share with he and his wife how God laid on my heart to learn these traditions. He says this year our church would be putting more of a focus on Advent. Slowly, he says, as to not alarm anyone and scare them off (again, my words, not his).
And there seems to be a stirring among us (“us” here could be defined as Christian women bloggers) in desiring something deeper of our faith. Is it new or is it the internet that allows us to “go into other’s living rooms” and find out what they do with their family? Is it that my kids are older and I am thinking differently now that I know they can sit still and understand more? Is it God’s heart shining strongly on a culture that has stripped their faith down so much so that we wear long dangly cross earrings (sorry if you have those) and hear songs sung by Christian music artists about ugly Christmas sweaters (also, sorry if you have those-and I do think they are funny and should be worn-but an entire song?). Maybe it’s the fact that we are studying the Middle Ages and are realizing what a huge endeavor it was to carry the message of Christ throughout all of these centuries?
Let me be very clear on something. The Bible clearly states that salvation comes by “…confessing with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believing in your heart that God raised Him from the dead…” Romans 10:9. It’s simple. An act of faith, but simple and uncomplicated.
That being said, maybe these church traditions would add richness to my (our) faith? So I bought a set of Advent candles that our church was offering and El Guapo made me a beautiful advent candle made barn wood. We started doing Sunday evening Advent readings. Then, I got this book…which I’ll share with you in the third installment : )
Although I’ve only gotten a few comments on the blog here (or maybe just my dad?) I’ve had a couple of great conversations with a couple of you about this. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy lives to read my thoughts. I’d love to hear yours, too-so feel free to comment, call, send a text or email.
Signing off from balmy Colorado (45 degrees today!),