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Blind Trust

April 29, 2012

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Psalm: 66:1-9

O.T.: Gn 1:1-4a.26-31; 2:1-4a

Gospel: Jn 15:1-8

 

 

In a village it had not rained for months. The drought threatened to become a catastrophe. Residents were looking for a solution, and finally decided to consult a sage whom they knew could do miracles. They wanted to ask for rain.

All the people got up and, after a long journey, they finally reached the house of the wise man.

Village elders asked for rain for their fields and pastures and to quench the animals’ and people’s thirst.

But the wise man replied:

“Sorry, but there cannot be a miracle, because you have very little faith!

“But how can you say such a thing,” replied the old man. “We made an extra effort to all come here to ask for help. Is not that a proof of our faith?”

“No,” said the sage, “if you truly believed in a miracle, then everyone would have brought an umbrella!”

 

This funny story tells us in a simple manner what faith is about. It’s simple trust, blind trust. That is ‘unfortunately’ the only way faith works. Our faith and ability to trust God is tied to our belief in the supreme power of God. God is an almighty God. We call him that in many of our prayers in the church. The question is: Do we indeed believe this; do we live those words in our everyday life?

The topic for today is a new creation, or we could also say a new creature. In the same Gospel of John, in chapter 15, the topic is clear: those who remain in a relationship with Christ will have a new existence on earth, and the promise that this relationship shall be extended eternally.

Jesus Christ invites us to live a new life, a new existence, to transform us into new creatures. But to transform us into new creatures, something is asked of us too. What is asked of us is a willingness to accept his word, and for us to begin to trust Him, that is, for us to live a life awaiting His word in an absolute way.

God the Father, God the Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are not only names in a religion. Indeed, they are power. And we trust in those three persons of the Trinity as the only powerful being, creator and savior for humans. That is why I asked, if, we that are here in this church today, called by our belief in that God, truly trust Him. Do we live so that His heavenly power manifests in our lives so that we can say we are truly new creatures?

If our answer is yes to this question, then we must say aloud the words of our verse: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”

 

The fact that you are sitting there in one of these benches today and I’m standing here speaking these words arises because we want to be church. That is, to be united in the name of God, to praise His name and hear His word. Today, His word tells us: I propose a new way of living: “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” Even if we are suffering, it will be insignificant if we see that with the perspective of what is to come beyond this life. And most importantly, we have the ability to see other things that those who did not learn to trust in Christ cannot yet see. “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.”

If we really want to be Christians, then we must begin to change our thinking in the manner expressed by this verse. Because being a Christian is not mere membership in a church, as if it were any association, but a way of living life. Being Christian is to be a new creature, other than we were and different from many people on the street who have not yet found Christ.

Here we are sitting today, not only to hear a sermon or announcements on the activities of the church or to hear a little more about a book of the Bible. Today, we are here to nourish ourselves with the word of God, so that God’s Holy Spirit can fill us with a power that is only available in the church and not outside it. This power, which cannot be replaced by anything else, serves to keep our spirits alive and maintains our living, communicated and renewed relationship with God. This divine power, since we cannot see it with our eyes, asks us to shift our focus “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen”

 

We believe that God, by our faith, gives us salvation. When we begin our relationship with Christ, we are promised salvation without merit or works of sacrifice. We understand and know this well. But there are still many people who understand this concept but they cannot live it. They cannot live it as long as they do not to show within their life the joy that this good news brings to us. In that way they cannot experience in their life the benefits of faith and daily confidence in God. God’s plan is for the salvation of all human beings, but he wants us to begin to experience His blessings in this life here on earth. But it is impossible to receive the blessings of God now, if we cannot begin to live a life in the joy and confidence that is produced when we feel that we have already been saved by Him.

God’s intention is to give us more than salvation for the future beyond life. There is one person whom I know that always says: “There is a better life, but not in this world.” This is a sad statement lacking confidence in God which naturally produces tangible consequences. God promises us a paradise. That we will share in his kingdom. But the kingdom of heaven begins at the very moment that we decide to believe and trust in Christ. But we cannot enjoy the here and now gifts from heaven, which are not dependant on God, but on how we live our lives. What are we giving more importance to? On what things are we placing our faith?, even though we say we are Christians? In the things of man, the things which are seen? Only in reason, in logic, in materialism? Blessed are we if we can confess out loud with our mouth, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”.

 

There are many ‘doubting Thomases’ (Jn 20:25) today, unfortunately, even among Christians. They place more confidence in what is seen: for example, in the material achievements of human beings, or in medical science, or in the strength of machinery, or in the strength of will and the capacity of human labor, or in the power that money has to get things, and etc, etc. And we know that everything material that man has is also given to him by God. But we must not forget that there is another dimension and that is the spiritual dimension that comes from God and we should not hold it in second place.

 

God wants us to live a new life. And many of us are doing this. There are others, however, that although they have attended church for decades, have not yet taken the step of putting God first in all areas of their lives and allow His power to act in their lives.

You know that God has given you salvation. But he also wants you to live a blessed life on this earth. And this all depends on your faith and your confidence in those things. We must do as the Bible says: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal”.

May God give you the blessing of naïve faith and confidence so that you may taste the experience of a God who blesses those yet on this earth. Amen.

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