Friday, October 7, 2016

Faith Ripples

Today's reflection on the Daily Texts:

After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up, who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel. - Judges 2:10 (NIV)

Simeon prayed: "My eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel." - Luke 2:30–32

Two-year reading texts: Psalm 117; 1 Samuel 28,29; John 6:16-24

Each of the texts today makes a reference to a significant event in the history of God's people, and how God intervened for salvation - to draw the people out of a situation they couldn't manage on their own, bringing them to a new situation that would allow freedom and movement and life. The ups and downs of life gave rise to a new, stronger, living faith in God.
And like ripples in a pond, the story was remembered, retold, bound up in the identity of the people, and passed on to generations to come. The impact of the story goes on; a wider circle of people know of God's love and grace and mercy and strength; the whole environment is changed as additional ups and downs are seen to be part of the continuing story of God and God's people.

Today's texts also show that there are times when the story may be forgotten, or denied, or judged to be overshadowed by other happenings. In these situations, God keeps faith and continues what was set in motion in the past, renewing it in the lives of people of the current day. In every generation, there is something to be learned from those who have come before us in the faith; and something to witness in our own time to God's saving action; and something to be remembered and proclaimed to those who will come after us.

Although we often prefer calm waters, maybe it's the ups and downs of life, our struggles and our awareness of God's presence, that best keep God's story alive. Today I'm trying to be aware of fellow Christians and others who have walked with God in places I haven't been yet, and watch and listen and learn from them. I'm looking for the disturbances in my life and in the world around me, and praying to be able to notice and proclaim the troubles and the saving actions of God. And I'm aware that what I say and do will have an effect on other people, and asking God for faith and courage and compassion to let the story continue to be told through me. All this is something of a challenge! But also a blessing. Life is more than random disturbances and solitary reactions. Faith ripples to me and through me and beyond me.

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