Institutions change. Structures transform. Denominations dissolve and merge, alliances shift but God – God – will always breathe new life into the faithful body of Christ. The question becomes: Will we be faithful?
I believe, with all my heart, that the church has its greatest opportunity for faith explosion since perhaps the first century. Think about it! No longer do we have to be chaplain to a broken, secular, political status quo. No longer do we have to function as spiritual chameleons in a rapidly changing cultural backdrop posing and masquerading as Christian. No one – no one – owns us. No one directs us. No one, no thing can claim a competing allegiance. We are free – FREE! – to be the people God has called us to be. We have our independent voice. Let’s use it!
Will we be so faithful?
Our text from Deuteronomy reminds us that if we love God – God; not our position, not our titles, not our wealth but God – that things will go well for us. Jesus links this text, with one from Leviticus to remind us that our greatest charge is to love God with all of our heart and our neighbor as ourselves.
And what is the promise if we do these things? Deut. 6: 3: it will go well with us. What is the promise for our church? If we do these things it will go well for us. Look at Psalm 119! God’s commandments are right; God’s law is our delight; God’s ordinances will help us. When we go wrong – and we do, don’t we? When we go wrong, it will be God’s wisdom that gets both our individual faith lives and the ministry of the church back to where God wants it.
I am not saying it is going to be easy. The life of faith rarely is. We will be tempted to go along to get along, we will be tempted to shift faith priorities to become less offensive. The spiritual buffet is out there, and it is so easy to walk the line, to take a little of this, a little of that, some comfort food here, some sweet and tasty thing there. At the end of the buffet we have traded a clear faithful Christianity for a philosophical and theological mess of our own making.
But friends, if we hold fast – not to form or convention but to truth and conviction there is nothing we cannot overcome because the One who is in us is so much greater than any force that might be against us. Times change. Structures change. Voices change, but an eternal God moves forward.
It begins with God. With a gift. With transformation. With Holy Spirit power. With the courage to live into God’s word. Will we be faithful?