Faith Captured in One Word
If you had to describe your belief to someone using one sentence, what would you say? If you were limited to just one word, what word would you choose? For myself, it can range from the Mass itself with the central focus of the Eucharist and the liturgy. There's being one with God while also one in communion with the world. There's the key words love and hope, and joy, the true joy found in God. My key word when I think about my faith belief is hope, all tying into having hope in the better of things because of God's love. Being disciples of God means we need to not only embrace our faith, but also understand what it is we're putting our trust in. How then would you describe this love of God, this faith to others when put to the challenge?
Today's First Reading states:'In those days Peter stood up among the brethren (the company of persons was in all about a hundred and twenty), and said, "Brethren, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke beforehand by the mouth of David, concerning Judas who was guide to those who arrested Jesus. For he was numbered among us, and was allotted his share in this ministry. For it is written in the book of Psalms, `Let his habitation become desolate, and let there be no one to live in it'; and `His office let another take.' So one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us -- one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection." And they put forward two, Joseph called Barsab'bas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthi'as. And they prayed and said, "Lord, who knowest the hearts of all men, show which one of these two thou hast chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside, to go to his own place." And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthi'as; and he was enrolled with the eleven apostles' (Acts 1:15-17, 20-26).
In today's reading, we hear about how Peter stands up in front of the crowd, saying we need to be a witness to Jesus' teachings, not only believing in the story of the man he was, but teaching its significance to others who don't know or understand. His coming was not only told after his death, but was foretold by prophets of old, predicting the coming Messiah to the people. There is not only hope in the story of Jesus' ministry, death and resurrection, but hope in the foretelling of his life. The disciples understand the importance of hope within God's hand working in the world, and use it to tell the world the Good News of God. When's the last time you started a conversation with someone about your faith, someone you know doesn't practice the same belief? Take the challenge and ask God to help you answer the question to yourself about how you would describe Hi gift of love in one sentence, one word.
Today's prayer comes from 'crosswalk' a prayer for standing firm in the spiritual battle:
We thank you that you hold the victory over sin and death in this world. We thank you for your redemptive work you’ve done in our lives. We thank you for freedom and the hope you bring.
Your word says to “stand our ground,” and that’s what we will do, in the power of your Name. The enemy has no control over us, and we bring your word of Truth as weapon against his schemes. We know that we do not fight alone, for you are constantly at work on behalf of your children, shielding, protecting, strengthening, exposing deeds of darkness, bringing to light what needs to be known, covering us from the cruel attacks we face even when we’re unaware.
We ask that you would give us wisdom and discernment to recognize the schemes of the enemy in our lives and to stand strong against his work.
We ask that you would remind us to pray, constantly, for all believers.
We ask that you would help us to stay alert in a dark world that tries hard to make things look “not so bad.”
We ask that you would equip us to be salt and light, that we would be loving and gracious, yet unyielding to sin.
We ask that you help us to remember to put on your armor daily, for you give us all that we need to stand firm in this day.
We thank you that though you remind us in your word that the whole world lies under the power of the evil one, you are still far greater and we have overcome, because you have set us free.
We thank you for your truth, “no weapon formed that is formed against you will prosper,” and that you tell us this is our “heritage” in you, our inherited blessing, place of possession, and gift straight from your hand.
We love you Lord. We need you. We stand together in your great and powerful Name.
In Jesus’ Name,