I visited a church last Sunday to meet up with a couple I hadn’t seen for a while. Upon entering the foyer, I recognized the greeters from Red Lion where I taught for a decade. As the music began to play at the traditional service, I felt like I was transported back to the 1970’s. I hadn’t heard or sung several of these hymns since I was young. Despite this odd encounter, I witnessed a faith within members of the congregation that has stood the test of time.
In the morning, as they were passing by, the disciples saw that the fig tree had withered away from the roots up. 21 And remembering, Peter said to Him, “Rabbi (Master), look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered!” – Mark 11:20-21
This faith was conceived during the first century from a motley crew of men who followed an impressive Jewish Rabbi. One of these disciples connected the dots quickly, amazed at the power Jesus possessed. One day Jesus cursed an unproductive fig tree and the next day it withered. As more and more miracles were seen daily, Peter was transformed from someone who denied Jesus publicly into a martyr willing to die for his faith.
Jesus replied, “Have faith in God [constantly]. 23 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea!’ and does not doubt in his heart [in God’s unlimited power], but believes that what he says is going to take place, it will be done for him [in accordance with God’s will], Mark 11:22-23.
Faith in Christ is like the merging of belief and confidence. When these two forces join, the words mentioned above become reality as souls tap into God’s unlimited power. This process is hard to explain. but when you see individuals praying, singing and worshipping with such joy, faith shines through. While older Christians may cling to traditional hymns, inspired hearts often result in a faith that stands the test of time.
by Jay Mankus