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For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”
Galatians 5:5-6, NIV
When we think of faithfulness, we might think of being constant, firm, loyal, resolute, steadfast and devotedly supportive. Galatians 5:5-6 says that it is by faith that we can hope for those of righteousness. Why? For in Christ Jesus, whether you are circumcised or not makes no difference. What matters is faith makes its power known through love.
Walking the road of faith in God begins with recognizing God’s faithfulness to us:
"Your love, O Lord, for ever will I sing; from age to age my mouth will proclaim your faithfulness." Psalm 89:1
"For I am persuaded that your love is established for ever; you have set your faithfulness firmly in the heavens." Psalm 89:2
"Who is like you, Lord God of hosts? O mighty Lord, your faithfulness is all around you." Psalm 89:8
"The favors of God are not all past, his kindnesses are not exhausted; every morning they are renewed; great is his faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23
In other words, faithfulness is core to God’s character—He is always faithful. His love never changes. His truth endures. Our invitation (or challenge) is to respond in faith rather than going the way that Paul describes in Galatians, namely that which is self-indulgence and destructive to the body, mind and soul. If we are guided by the Holy Spirit and invite Jesus Christ in our lives, the result is very different: the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:5-6).
A story comes to mind about keeping the faith our Lord gives us in 2 Timothy 4:7. Paul says, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I kept the faith." I am sure Mother Teresa could not have known where the choice to follow Jesus would lead. St. Francis or St. Martin could not have known, nor could those saintly persons who have blessed your life and mine. Yet, it brought them into a special place where the Spirit led them with their gifts to touch our lives.
In Galatians, it says what mattered to Paul was faith which works through love. That is just another way of saying the heart of being a Christian is not adherence to external laws, but a personal, living relationship with Jesus Christ. So during this time of Lent, let us all be thankful for our blessings and invite our Lord to be our companion on our journey toward Holy Week and Easter.
The Rev. Nicolas (Nick) R.D. Dyke
Pastoral Associate
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