Posts Tagged ‘Trust’

Can we trust God?

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Obviously, the simply answer is “yes.”

But how?  What does trust look like?  How can we trust when much of our world and much of lives appears so deeply broken?

Maybe part of the answer is understanding trust differently.

Starts, possibly, with this.  Trusting and testing – two different things.  Trusting God is not a matter of laying out our “case” and seeing if God comes through.  That speaks too much of our agenda and leaves too little room for God’s.  It also makes God’s love a completely conditional endeavor.

Trusting is more then a matter of the heart.

Swedenborg, in writing of Christ, held that He completely trusted in an ultimate victory.  However that trust was not built on a case.   It was based on intention. The intention … “salvation of the entire human race … motivated by pure love.”  (Secrets of Heaven 1812)

Fascinating.

So trust can be felt, trust can come come alive when we turn, when we recenter our lives around purposeful love.  Recenter our lives on extending care. Extending care out into the world.   A movement away from testing and towards trusting.

There is so much as a pastor for which there are no answers.  And even where answers fail, trust still lives.

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

The Religious Practice of the New Church

Friday, June 21st, 2013

What is your religious practice?  For many of us, we employ formalized church answers … Sunday worship, prayer, alms, participation in rituals/ sacraments.  They are typical answers because there is life and grace there.  And there are other atypical answers to round out the concept of practice.   Such answers grow from the position that “a religion is valued for its goodwill and faith, not for the rituals that accompany them.”  (True Christianity, 660)

Practice as seeking value in goodwill and faith.   Goodwill meaning loving kindness.  Faith meaning trust.  So we are then to practice holding loving kindness and trust as more defining of church than ritual.

“The new church unites faith in the Lord with goodwill toward our neighbor as two things that are inseparable; this is the nature of its religious practice,” (True Christianity, 647)

Not that that practice is easy!  But that practice pulls us away from the more shallow definitions of religion-as-ritual, definitions that feed “worship wars” and endless confrontations around the “hot button” issue of the day like homosexuality.  We find it easier, I fear, to bring enraged indignation to human sexuality than we do to birth loving kindness and trust into a world so sorely in need of both.  I don’t see that as saying that choices around sexuality are unimportant.  I do see it as saying, approach those questions with loving kindness and trust.