New Perspectives on the Way of the Cross | February 21 to March 20

Daily Devotional Oct 7 2021

Psalm 131, 132, 133; 2 Kings 23:4-25; 1 Cor. 12:1-11; Matt. 9:18-26
‘Your faith has made you well.’ How we strive to turn that into ‘your strongly felt wishes have given you what you want.’ But faith and wishful thinking aren’t the same thing, not at all. I can want and wish and dream all I want, doesn’t make it faith and doesn’t make it happen. Faith is something deeper: faith changes me, changes my actions. Wishes and wants just occupy the spare rooms in my spiritual house, neither sweeping out the corners nor altering the floor plan. Wishes and wants are squatters, taking up room but not doing a darned thing beyond complaining about the draughts and leaving a mess behind when they move on.
‘Faith is the evidence of things unseen:’ that is to say, faith rests on knowledge. You can’t have ‘faith’ that unicorns and leprechauns are going to jump out of the garden hedgerow and transform your life into a bouquet. That’s not based on evidence, but on wants, on wishes, on fairy floss and rainbows. If there’s no evidence, there’s no faith, friends. Do I want this situation to turn out well? Irrelevant, frankly, unless there’s fact to suggest that it can. Been there, done that: relationships that I desperately, desperately, wanted to succeed but from which the other person(s) had already washed his/her/their hands and moved on. No matter how hard I might have tried, I couldn’t invent evidence, not even for unseen things. The facts on the ground just weren’t there. And that’s what’s different with this lady and her hemorrhage: Jesus has shown plenty of evidence that He can cure health problems, and there He is, standing in front of her. The evidence is in her favor. So, having the facts in line, she is able to move forward in faith… and that move is rewarded with the result she seeks.
Not that they all are, mind you. God owes us nothing, having poured out life and beauty and love and salvation so freely on us already. But it is true that sometimes, maybe most of the time, God works to our benefit if only we’ll play by the real rules in the real world, if only we’ll stop inventing fairy floss and cloud castles and base our hopes and dreams on the tangible, obvious, right-there-in-front-of-our-eyes fact that we are His and He works together for good to them that love Him. For good… not necessarily for easy or palatable or pleasant. But for good, always. And so, this time, the blood stops, and another time, perhaps it doesn’t but something equally wonderful happens, equally but differently wonderful. That, friends, is faith: to acknowledge in advance that the evidence of our spiritual eyes is that God is always working good for His people and to look for the good in what He’s doing in the face of all the world.
Steven Wilson

Steven Wilson

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Grace Church is the oldest Episcopal parish in the four states area.
Rooted in worship of the Risen Christ, we draw our understanding of His commandment to love one another from Holy Scripture, reason and tradition—and we encourage our membership actively to seek a deeper personal relationship with Christ, a relationship founded in love of God and of neighbor.

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