July 13, 2015

Faith and Courage

I recently heard a young priest deliver a homily about courage. He began with a question, "Why did the turtle cross the road?" the answer was, “To get to the Shell Station." The priest suggested, “That took courage.”

The scripture that morning was from Mark and it referred to the evangelists Christ sent out in pairs to preach repentance, cast out evil spirits and heal the sick. They were instructed to take no money, no extra clothing or anything of value, only a staff and sandals. That took courage!

The priest spoke with obvious faith and passion, challenging the  congregation to find the courage to live a Christian life especially by reaching out to others in need around the world.

About 75 percent of Americans claim to believe in God, and many demonstrate their faith by reaching out to those in need by sharing their time, talents and resources.  Americans are consistently among the most generous people in the world. 

At the same time, the percent of Americans who demonstrate their faith by worshipping in religious services is rapidly declining.  Pastor James McDonald from Walking World Ministries recently reported that 4,000 churches close their doors every year and 3,500 people leave the church every day!

If you believe in God but you have developed a casual attitude about your faith, I urge you to demonstrate your conviction and your courage by reconnecting with a congregation of fellow disciples.