Finding Faith: How does spending time with God equip us for the week?
"I experienced two epiphanies a week apart that made me realize that far too many people see their faith lives and the rest of their week as distinctly separate," Devlyn Brooks writes.
I think as faithful people we’d do well to remember that the point of our worship services, our confirmation classes and our Bible studies is not only to bolster our faith, but it is to take the insights we gain and incorporate them into our daily lives.
While the fellowship that takes place during these faith exercises is valuable and refreshing, the real importance of gathering together in the name of God is to equip us for the bulk of the rest of the week that we spend in the earthly realm.
In this season of epiphany, I experienced two epiphanies a week apart that made me realize that far too many people see their faith lives and the rest of their week as distinctly separate.
In the first incident, I was having a conversation with a person I know to be an ardent faithful believer: “How do you manage such different worlds in your life?” At first, I took the question to be one about time management because a lot of people ask me about that.
But the person clarified: “No! … I mean, how do you separate your pastoral job with the work you do in newspapers everyday. That’s got to be difficult.” They weren’t asking about time management. They were asking how it is that I slip in and out of the two professional roles I carry. Because in their mind, there’s absolutely no way that a pastor could also be a newspaper professional or that a newspaper professional could be a pastor. It was evident by the conversations that they separated their faith life from the rest of their life.
The second incident took place this week in confirmation class when I was teaching about the importance of confession and forgiveness. I reminded the students that it was such an important aspect of our faith that we started each Sunday service with the practice, a corporate confession of sin, but also God’s healing forgiveness for everyone. I mentioned to the students that we incorporate this practice into every service as a reminder to take that same practice with us into every other day of the week.
And for a couple of students, I saw for the very first time a light go on that they weren’t just wasting 90 minutes every Wednesday night at the church because their parents made them, they were actually there to learn something about faith they could incorporate into the rest of their week.
A set of epiphanies, a week apart, that reminded me that as faithful people we need to understand that while gathering with like-minded believers once a week is good tonic for the soul, it’s what we take away from that worship to instill in our everyday lives that actually shines God’s light into the world.