Friday, August 10, 2007

Assurance of Things Hoped For

Reading the Biblical texts for this week, I see the weakness of my faith. I want to look to "an unfailing treasure in heaven" and to "be dressed for action and have [my] lamp lit." But I more often find myself identifying with Abraham, saying, "O Lord God, what will you give me?" For I have not seen the promise.

Sometimes I'm not even sure what the promise is. I look to the God who says "See, I make all things new" (Rev. 21:5), but I don't see everything new. O Lord God, what will you give me, for the world crumbles around me?

I happen to have been reading something today from John Zizioulas where he talks about the tension between the historical and eschatological models of the Church. The Church is on a mission from God in history, but we live at the end of time. That helps me make sense of it all. We're in history and beyond history at the same time.

And this is what the readings for the week offer me. "Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." Need encouragement? Here's a list of people who lived in the promise and never saw what they were hoping for. Thanks. That helps a lot.

But it does, really. It shows me that I'm not doing this wrong. I'm not (necessarily) looking for the wrong things. It's not going to be easy. This is our calling.


Pastor Eric said...

Thanks for the awesome insights. I especially liked the part where you mention the people who have gone before us and never saw what they were hoping for. That is indeed a great encourgement. I also believe that that piece is the missing link for the sermon tomorrow. Thanks again.

David said...

...and remember, even as we say we are living at the end of time, those who have gone before us saw themselves living at the end of time as well.

As we look back and see the promise fulfilled through the lives of previous generations, who will look back to our generation to "see" the promise fulfilled? I guess it will be those who see themselves living at the end of time.

Sorry...too much coffee this morning.

Andy said...

Yeah, that's the beauty of Orthodox theology. When they say we're living at the end of time, they don't mean the Rapture is near or even that the Parousia is near. They mean we (in as far as we are the Church) are living outside of time. In Alexander Schmemann's book on Great Lent he drives this point home. When the liturgy says "today" Christ is risen from the dead, it's not just pretending we're in a different time. We are.

Pastor David said...

It is a real challenge to proclaim such a message in today's world. So many seem ready to offer people the "easy answers" - whether or not they are the true answers. And, lets face it, the answer that seems easy - that has less tension, less paradox, (ultimately less faith) - can feel satisfying in an instant gratification sort of way.

LutheranChik said...

Thanks for an "aha!" moment.