Catching the Wave - watching, waiting and building faith - Luke 12:32-40
Our focus today is all about watching, waiting and building faith – and then crucially catching the wave of faith as we build our spiritual treasure of faith.
The art of surfing is waiting and watching for the big wave and then launching to catch the power of the wave. Momentarily we have to travel as fast as the wave if we are to share in the power of the wave.
We are made in the image of God (Genisis 1:27) To share in Jesus we have to do what He would do.
We have to have His love, His compassion and His Faith - then we can ride with Him. We cannot see faith any more than we can see electricity. However, we can observe its effects – just as we can observe the effects to of electricity.
For instance, we know that if we pass electrical current though a copper wire and wrap it around a ferrous material, we can create a magnet - which in turn can be used to create an electric motor (which is two magnets).
Equally if we rotate one magnet with wire windings, we can create the force we call electricity. We cannot see it but most of the miracles of modern 21st Century life rely on is force - that cannot see – but creates effects we rely on every minute of every day
We believe in electricity because we use the miracles it creates every day of our lives.
In many ways faith is similar – but even more miraculous and even less understood
Israelites had faith in Moses because he parted the Red Sea and fed them for 40 years in the desert. How do you generate faith? They did as he did worship and he worshiped. They followed his 10 commandments – Moses's God given manual to spiritual life
Equally we believe in Jesus partly because of the extraordinary things he did. He healed people, he raised the dead, he himself was raised from the dead – and was seen by 100s of people after his crucifixion. Jesus also left a manual – the Beatitudes and his teaching. We have to do as he did worship and he worshiped. We can show compassion, we can show love we can love the Father – we can have faith
The crucial thing is where faith can take you – to spiritual growth. This is eternal and transcendental. This is reason for our existence
Jesus was both the magnet and the force producing the visible effects that changed both the ancient and our world today. He was both the medium and the message. He left us the Beatitudes and the example of his life. He was the wave and the energy of the wave
Contrary to popular opinion in the relatively faithless world of today the goal of life is not wealth, status and or an electric car. They might prove to provide moments of satisfaction or even joy. However, they all pass away. When we die we leave them behind.
However, by following the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes our electric wire of faith grows and we start to connect with the astonishing eternal source of our being.
We don’t have to understand Faith anymore that we can understand the 95% of the universe that we cannot see. However, we can see the effects of faith if we have faith –in our everyday lives.
When you get to my age there is lots of testimony. I have been down lots of track! One bit of priceless track was spending 6 years in a monastery in my early twenties. It was there that saw and lived with people who lived their lives through faith and devotion to God. The monks were living manifestations of the faith. Extraordinary things happened routinely – in other words, I saw the effects of the electricity of faith lived out through their lives on a daily basis. Interestingly they never asked or prayed for themselves. All their needs were simply divinely provided for them. (Matthew 6:25-34,Luke 12:22-32 )
Getting down to basics we all find little nudges and coincidences in life which wonderfully boost faith – that show us the wave. It might be that we make a donation you cannot really afford and the next day a cheque arrives in the post for the same amount. It might be that you read different bits of biblical text that all magically join up together. It might be that you go for a walk without an umbrella and don’t get wet when it rains. It might be that you magically meet someone you need to meet or are simply 'provided for' in unexpected ways.
Witnessing that parental love and concern of Our Lord builds faith
All we have to do is watch and wait and expect (have faith) - and what we need will be given to us. The crucial thing is to “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’”
How do you love God? Personally I love God as Francians love God – through his creation through all living beings, the flowers in the fields - through all the beauty and magnificence which surround us . Who cannot love a harvest mouse or a small bird in their hand. We love to be generous. We love to be parents. We love our children. Love and Faith are the electricity - part of the divinity of our being. The more we love the more we are loved. As St Paul said to the Corinthians
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
We need to be watching the wave for when our Master returns – and then catching the wave – and be carried far up the beach like the saints and monastics that I knew.
All we have to do is watch, wait, have faith - and catch the wave of our Lord’s love – and then love Him and all things back!!
In Jesus’s name Amen
Gospel Luke 12:32-40 NIV
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks, they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”