Monday in the Third Week of Lent, Mar 20, 2017
Glenn Springstead

 

Scripture for the Day

Today’s readings each feature a faith disappointed. For the people of Nazareth, Jesus is not the Messiah they imagine or desire. For the proud Syrian general, Naaman, he has faith in this prophet in Israel to heal him, but he is angry he has been asked to bathe in a dirty river in order to be cured. Meanwhile, the Psalmist longs for a faith, a relation with God, which is seemingly lost.

I can relate to these disappointments. The God of scripture and of the church has not always been easy for me to understand. And when I think I did understand, He was not the God or savior I wanted or expected. Fortunately, like Naaman, I have often benefited from wise counselors, some knowingly and some not, who have provided much needed balance and understanding to my disappointments and helped lead me to deeper reflection.

But sometimes like the Psalmist I am on my own, or feel to be so. I will long for the joys and comfort of a past spiritual experience, feeling like the spiritual desert I am in right now is unwelcome. Sometimes this kind of longing is an invitation for me to take a step of faith into something new and uncomfortable. At other times I think this period of dryness is a challenge to just do the next thing, whether that’s getting myself together for church on a day I’d rather sleep in, or choosing to press ahead with that day’s Bible Challenge or lectionary reading when flashier entertainments beckon.

What disappointments have challenged your faith? Do you, like Naaman, have wise counselors to guide you through the down times of faith?  Do past experiences help or hinder the faith challenges you have today?

 

Glenn Springstead

 

Last Published: March 20, 2017 10:15 AM