Last Saturday I was in the bike shop; I go to the Eric’s on Highway 5. I was trying to figure out how to put a fender on my fat bike so I could ride in this wet, muddy mess without getting covered in the stuff. After helping me out, the manger whose name is Jay, looked at me and said, “So what’s the sermon on tomorrow?” Now I know he doesn’t want the whole load. But how do you let a moment like that pass?
I really like Jay. Sometimes I forget he knows I’m a pastor even when he’s asking about the sermon at the bike shop, and so I blurted out, “Don’t kid around with Jesus,” or something like that. Jay laughed and patted me on the back, looking sort of surprised that I had come up with something that made sense to him. And then he said, “So is that the bike shop version?” I said, “yes” and left it at that.
A couple of weeks ago, I asked a small group I am leading at church to try to catch themselves doing something or saying something that felt directly tied to their faith, without first thinking about it. They looked at me a little confused. I’ll admit, it’s a confusing question. But what I’m trying to get at is how is it that our faith comes out intuitively, organically, out of who we naturally are as men and women, boys and girls, in any given moment.
When people identify me as a pastor, they often expect a certain response. I’ll have to admit that at times that frustrates me; it puts me on the spot of being the type of Christian they have in mind, which is perhaps not the one I am. But I also feel it’s a great opportunity to connect people to what I believe is important in life. Doing this, without giving someone the whole load of what it means to have a relationship with God, can be hard to figure out, to say nothing of putting it in a way they can receive. But that should not stop us from trying. It also should not stop us from taking the time to inwardly claim that there are moments in our lives when something of Jesus comes alive in and through and out of us. This kind of revelation can surprise us more than anyone else.
This year I’m going to be asking some of you to share your stories of faith arising organically, unexpectedly. I hope these stories help more of us to claim that we do indeed have a place in God’s story. These stories are important, both to learn to tell and to hear, because in the telling, in the hearing, Christ comes alive between us.
Keep the Faith,