These days more than ever, I find myself wanting simple answers and it seems harder and harder to find them. I want to know which one of the talking heads on cable news is telling me the truth and which one is lying to me. I want to know if the Covid pandemic is coming to an end or if these new variants are about to launch us back into the depths of the crisis. I want to know which foods are really good for me and which aren’t. Maybe there is more clarity on pizza not being too good for me, but I just don’t want to believe it. Overall, I want there to be cut and dry, black and white answers to a lot of the questions that I have about life.

I’m pretty sure that there is a desire for this when it comes to our faith as well. Wouldn’t it be great if we could know exactly how God felt about every aspect of our lives? What is right? What is wrong? Perhaps we would still do the wrong thing from time to time, but at least we would know. I’m sure there are some pastors out there from other faith traditions that would tell us that we can know those things. They would say that the scripture makes everything clear. That everything is explained by the Bible and that faith is actually a simple matter. I certainly know there are plenty of preachers out there that are offering simple yes/no answers to many questions that keep me up at night. Yet, when I actually read scripture and live my life, I find that there are very few moments when the answers are so simple.

There is part of me that is envious of such a view of God. There are plenty of times that I wish life was simpler, when I wish faith was a journey of certainty. Yet I know this is not how God works. This is not the reality we live in. We can pretend that we have every aspect of God figured out, but scripture is filled with warnings of such pride. Faith is not a matter of certainty, but rather a matter of trust. Our life with God does not promise us easy answers to complicated questions, but rather, as faithful disciples of Christ we are called to seek understanding from God and from our neighbors. We are expected to remain humble, rather than assuming that we possess the truth that others do not.

Yes, the world grows ever more complicated each day. It certainly is desirable to have easy answers to all the big questions. It would likely allow us to sleep a little easier at night. But, while it may be easier to go through life thinking that we have God and life absolutely figured out, it is not faithful. Rather, our journey is, as the prophet Micah says, “to do justice, love kindness, and to walk humbly with God.”  
Pastor Justin