Tuesday, December 7

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2021 Advent Devotional: In the Midst of Changing Ways – Many Gifts, One Spirit

Week 2: The Gift of Faith

Scripture: Philippians 3:9 – “Not having a righteousness of my own that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based in faith.”

Reflector: Ruth Irvin

I’ll be honest! Until I was asked to prepare a devotional centered on my faith and how it has shaped me, I hadn’t spent much time pondering this question. And I hadn’t thought about how my faith has helped me through Changing Ways. And so the pondering began.

There is “faith” and then there is “FAITH.” One obvious way to look at “faith” is as a term for the religion one practices – Christianity, Judaism, Islam, etc. It is a relatively generic term, in my mind.
On the other hand, and more to the point here is “FAITH” that can be defined as “confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” It means that there is more to our world than what we see with our eyes or hear with our ears. This FAITH is a gift from God, through his grace, and is in my mind, intangible.

Photo by Nathan Lemon on Unsplash

And yet, FAITH alone is not enough. To me, FAITH is the catalyst that propels one into action. To paraphrase Matthew 17:20, if you have FAITH, nothing is impossible. FAITH in God leads us to a way of life that is driven by actions. In words attributed to John Wesley, we are to:

Do all the good you can.
By all the means you can.
In all the ways you can.
In all the places you can.
At all the times you can.
To all the people you can.
As long as you ever can.

Well, I may not be any closer to responding to the question of how my FAITH has shaped me and how it has helped me through Changing Times, but I will continue my pondering in an intentional way as I also consider the words of Al Carmines’ hymn, “Many Gifts, One Spirit:”

God of change and glory,
God of time and space,
When we fear the future,
Give us your grace.
In the midst of changing ways
Give us still the grace to praise.

Prayer: God of grace, help me to be hopeful and assured in my FAITH. Guide me in putting my FAITH into action. Let your love shine through me as each of us seeks to be guided in the ways in which we can faithfully serve you. Amen.