mandag 21. november 2016

It is about the ingredient faith

Yesterday I wrote about the fact that I need to find recipe for my favourite Christmas cookies even though I am able to recall most of the ingredients. The order the ingredients go into the dough is important, likewise the temperature, but I will write about the temperature later. 

I do not think that it was an accident that Peter started his “fruit-recipe” with the ingredient ‘faith’ (1). Without faith everything I write is just rubbish, or ‘foolishness’ to use the word of the Bible (2).

I believe all human beings have received a measure of faith. The Norwegian world evangelist, Aril Edvardsen, said something similar to this on several occasions: “The problem is not that people do not believe, on the contrary they are ready to believe in anything!”

It is understandable. I have had a lot of conversations with self-declared non-believers, who are ready to confess that they have a great desire to believe, but are not able to. It is a paradox that they have this desire if there is nothing that creates that desire. I believe that desire is there because we are created in the image of God. We long to come back to our origin, to our right element, to use an image Augustin used (3).

Many dare not believe because they are disappointed by religion in general, and by “Church” – in this context synonym with all organized expressions of Christianity. And I do understand them. I am not in the Salvation Army because it is a flawless organization run by flawless people. First and foremost, I believe because I have experienced that it is all about life and reproduction of life. That I have chosen to live this life in the Salvation Army is secondary.

To believe is a pilgrimage in the direction of the mystery we call ‘God’, a pilgrimage home where I belong, and it is an indescribable experience to be received as a ‘home-comer’. Of course I lose my footing when I start on such a journey, but that is momentarily. If I do not dare to start I lose myself. Even those words were not mine. I borrowed them from Søren Kierkegaard, but I have experienced that it is true. Faith is a movement, it is not an accomplishment, but it does help make an effort (1)!

‘Manna’ for today:

Fruit-production starts with the ingredient ‘faith’
(1) For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith 2 Pet 1:5
(2) 1 Cor 1:18
(3) Augustin: ‘Like the bird in a cage longs for the air, and the fish on the shore longs for the sea, so does man long for his right element – God!’

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