Saturday, April 18, 2009

What Matters Most - 1- Faith

I will be working, over the next several weeks, on a theme: "What Matters Most". And, since I'm writing this blog, maybe I should call it: What Matters Most to Me. But, I hope that you can resonate with some of what I will share. As I write about what matters most I will do it thinking not just about myself, but about others- people who are Christian or not. Of course, my slant is Methodist Christian. So, here goes.

The first thing that matters most is everyone must have something to believe in. The word for this is faith. Every person needs faith.

Now, I know that for some the only belief that they have is in self. Certainly it is important at some level to believe in yourself, your abilities, your worth, your gifts. If you don't believe in yourself, then you won't have the energy to go about doing anything worthwhile.

The belief I'm talking about that matters most, though, is belief in something bigger than yourself. For me, of course, this means belief in God, the God revealed in Jesus Christ.

Paul Tillich says that faith is "Ultimate concern". Whatever we are ultimately concerned about is our faith. So, anyone can have this kind of faith and give themselves to it.

Scripture teaches that there are many gods. Luther says that the human heart is a "factory of idols". If we don't believe in the real God, we will have some kind of god. We will have faith in something.

Alcoholics Anonymous has a twelve step program. The first step is to acknowledge that there is a higher power. Christian faith calls this power God; in the Old Testament god is "Yahweh" and this God comes in the New Testament in Jesus of Nazareth.

After Easter, we Christians trust/believe in a God who brought Jesus back from the dead. Sooner or later, if you're a full human being, you have to put your money down somewhere, you have to put your trust in something. And, whatever you believe/trust in will shape your life.

Dave Nichols

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Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.

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About Me

A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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