“Shazam!” Have you ever had one of those moments when your whole world changes, the way you see life expands? In the darling children’s Christmas story The Best Christmas Pagaent Ever a family of unchurched children join the Christmas play and the one who plays the angel yells, “Shazam!” and appears to Mary to say she will mother the baby Jesus. A life changing moment for Mary and many other lives too!
Like Martin Luther, I struggled with a child’s faith in an angry, distant God. “Wait till your father gets home!” Luther came to Romans 1: 16-17,
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, “The one who is righteous will live by faith.”
Shazam, Luther’s life was changed. Faith, he realized, is not a moment when you begin to believe something, a new fact, but a lifelong journey of a reoriented life. Sola Fidelis spoke into that fear that we must work our way to God, through good deeds or buying indulgences. Our faith leads to good deeds out of the love we find in God, not a doing of good deeds to earn the right to be with God. Faith alone became a pivotal cry of the reformation.
Has there been a moment in your life when faith became real? For some raised in the church, it is a gradual transformation from doctrinal church truths taught from childhood to a living dynamic faith that under girds life. For others it is a dramatic moment when truth breaks through. In either case we do not earn the love of an angry God but are released to live a life of love founded in a loving God. Today there will be opportunities to help, to forgive, to accompany, to share and even more. May you respond to the challenges of your day in the confidence of a God who loves you and walks with you. Blessings.