A reading from Deuteronomy 6:
4Hear, O Israel: The LORD is our God, the LORD alone. 5You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. 6Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. 7Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise.
To me my faith is best experienced through community: my friends, family, the congregation. Whether it’s my Papa saying the prayer at Thanksgiving, my Grandma singing with me in church, or way back when we first came to Calvary with my surrogate grandparents and automatically meeting my first best friend Avery—who has been a part of my faith journey my whole life, and now is confirming her faith beside me.
When I think of my faith, I could say so many things. Growing up in this church has made it easy to see God in everything I do. Whether it’s being outside with the warm fall colored leaves, or serving others at Shoshone. I’ve been going back to a scene in my head where I was having a lousy Sunday morning, so I go to the front row in Deeper Life, standing there holding my Mom’s hand and praising the Lord through singing my heart out. I remember the time my older sister told me I could wear jeans to church because God doesn’t care about small things like that. He loves you no matter what.
Which brings me to another point: At first, I struggled with my faith, feeling like so much was expected from me being the pastor’s kid. I wanted to not go to church, push everything away, including God. For some reason it didn’t work. I’m sure you know why too. God doesn’t leave your side. When you don’t believe in him for whatever reason, he still believes in you. And that’s what happened. Notice (most Sunday mornings) I get out of bed for church. There’s a calling for me. Not only was God calling me back to this place where I feel most at home , but I heard everyone who’s been part of my faith journey calling: The constant texts from Avery, “Your coming to church, right?!” Or, my Mom telling me how, no matter how much homework I had, it’s still important that I get to Confirmation. I’ve not only maintained my relationships with people who are a part of this journey, but also having friends come to worship with me has been important too.
All of you have been a part of my faith journey, and now that I am here confirming my faith, I understand that God was at work through you to meet me where I was. And I am sure he will continue to do that. And for that I am thankful.