Tuesday, September 18, 2007

the hope of our faith

i'm a big fan of rick mckinley and what god is doing through him and his church, imago dei, in portland, oregon. i read his book, this beautiful mess, and thought it was fantastic. i highly recommend it.

i also frequently listen to his sermons via podcast. one that really impacted me is called Abraham, the Hope of Our Faith, from 9/2/07.

often i hear people talking about the how 'marriage (and/or sex) is the idol of the single person.' i have to agree with that. i think it's really easy for us to bank all of our hope in the idea that one day we'll be 'fulfilled .' as a woman, i have been looking forward to my wedding day since at least junior high. many of my girlfriends spent their childhood years dressing up as a 'bride' and then 'walking down the aisle.' (i was kind of a tomboy, so i don't really remember ever doing that).

even over the last few years, i have found myself thinking, man, i can't WAIT till i am married, only to have that thought followed by and then... what? as in, ok, then what do i have to look forward to?

of course there is nothing really wrong with looking forward to being married. i still do, very much. but after listening to rick's message, i started to wonder if too much of my hope was on that one earthly, temporal thing. is my hope in marriage eclipsing the hope of my faith? what is the hope of my faith, anyway?

i want the hope of my faith to be god and his promises. i want him to be my security. i want to say 'i can't wait to get to heaven.' i want that to be the most exciting thing; the thing that sends shudders down my spine when i think about it. i'm definitely not there yet.

rick asks the pointed question, what do you do when the promise isn't fulfilled? he points out that all the amazing people named in hebrews 11 and notes that the author of hebrews says that those people lived by faith without the fulfillment of the promise. that was huge for me. if god doesn't provide me a husband, or doesn't provide one for the next 10 to 20 years, what will i do? how will that affect my faith? is my faith in my preferred future or in god?

the people in hebrews 11 had faith in god. their hope was vested in eternal promises, not promises that the world was making. god brought them ultimate security. they could see and welcome god's promises in the future, even though they couldn't touch them.

i could go on, but rick says it better. listen to his sermon. then ask yourself what your hope (your security) is in. and how does your faith engage your hope?

i hope to be married someday. but i don't want to put my security there.

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