Week Ending Sunday, November 17, 2019
Are We Living Our Faith with Endurance?
“The devil put before me that I could not endure the trials of the religious life, because of my delicate nurture. I defended myself against him by alleging the trials which Christ endured, and that it was not much for me to suffer something for His sake; besides, He would help me to bear it.” -Saint Teresa of Avila
To endure is to suffer (something painful or difficult) patiently. And, to endure is to remain in existence; last. Both of these meanings work in the context of what comes next. Jesus suffered through unimaginable pain and difficult moments, patiently. And, to this day, Jesus remains in existence; his legacy, his model, his life has, does and will last forever.
Are We Living Our Faith with Endurance? This question is the theme for this week’s lectionary and message from the pulpit. I venture to say, this is not a question or thought most of us have as we go about our daily routines. Yes, we believe the world to be in a pot of trouble. Yes, we believe there is more suffering in the world than we are able to comprehend, ergo, we do not dwell on it. Yes, there is too much killing, too much war, too much poverty, too much hunger, too much…too much. And, there are those who endure all of these as they go about their daily routines.
So what are we enduring? The question is, are we living our faith with endurance? Do we even think that faith is something we need to endure? That our faith has put us in jeopardy of suffering or existing or lasting? I do not believe we think about our faith in those terms. Unfortunately, I believe more likely we take our faith for granted. It just is. We don’t suffer for it. We don’t need patience to endure the pain of it. And, while alive and well on the face of this earth, we exist with it and it lasts for however long we do. I am among this population. I do not think about my faith in terms of endurance. Does that make us weak or bad or negligent? Each must answer for themselves.
However, what if we think upon this as simple existence and simple lasting power, then perhaps we are living our faith with endurance. If we do not stray and stay the way with Christ Jesus at our head, then perhaps we will have endured in our own lives, as well as we could, with the cards dealt us, by the time we pass? We could say we suffered. We could say we went through pain. But when I think on what Jesus went through, I know I have not suffered or had the painful moments he endured for all of us, for me, on that cross, on that hill, on that day, so long ago. None of us knows that depth of suffering, that depth of loneliness, that depth of faith, that depth of endurance. We couldn’t. We suffer only for ourselves whereas Jesus did it for all of us for all of time. Jesus endured the suffering and pain accumulated by mankind from the past, in the present, and for the future. We do not know suffering compared to that. We are only one tiny piece whereas he is the Whole for us all.
Stay the Way – Love, Believe, Endure, for the glory of God. Amen.
Based on the Cool Hand of Luke 21:5-19
Gaddis Church is a United Methodist Congregation.
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141 Hwy 87 | P.O. Box 566
Comfort, Texas 78013
10:00 am Worship Service
With Sunday school at 8:30 am
Monday - Thursday | 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday | 8:00 am - Noon