by Brian E. Pearson
Our faith changes. We may like to think that God doesn’t change, remaining “the same, yesterday, today, and forever.” But for God’s creatures, nothing remains the same but change itself, and that includes our faith.
When I was young my faith was all about images. Jesus was the Good Shepherd, depicted in Day-glo colours on a plaque that shone from my bedroom wall at night. He was carrying a lost lamb over his shoulders.
The church was the faithful flock gathering every Sunday with open ears and outstretched palms to receive our feeding. The images were of love and of safety.
Then, as I grew, my faith became about words, fighting words. It was about sin and salvation, about incarnation and sanctification. The tensions between those of us who bandied these terms about, like swords, grew with the length of the words themselves.
Our words represented our understanding of God and of how God worked. In the battle over words, the one with the best words won.
Now, it seems to be all about the silence after the words. It is the stillness of meditative prayer, of being content to be in God’s presence without the need for constant chatter, either from me or from God. It is peaceful on this side of the words, and I wouldn’t want to be dragged back again to the noisy battlefields of the wordsmiths.
I wonder where things will go from here. For now, I know only that my faith will continue to change, as I change too. This is the nature of all things that have life and breath.
And it would appear to be the changeless nature of our Creator to look upon it all, and see that it is good, that it is very good.
Brian Pearson is a retired Anglican priest (formerly from Niagara) …. he continues to fill his days as a writer, musician, and public speaker. His reflections have emerged from his upcoming memoir Last Rites: A Lament for Church Land. You can access his daily blog, and experience more of his offerings at brianepearson.ca