Scripture Reading — Colossians 1:1-14
We always thank God ... because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus... Colossians 1:3-4 —
Faith looks both to Christ for salvation and with Christ to live faithfully.
Faith looks to Christ for the assurance that our sins are forgiven and that we are forever right with God.
Pastor Jim Van Tholen, fighting cancer at the age of 33, confessed to his congregation that he'd been scared of meeting God. In the book This Incomplete One he said, "I assumed I still had about forty years left. Forty years to unlearn my bad habits. Forty years to let my sins thin down... Forty years to be good... But that's not how it's going to go. Now I have months, not years... I have to meet God not later, but sooner."
Of course, as Jim knew, it's not really about time; it's about where we look. Young or old, we must all look to Christ for our salvation.
But we must also look with Christ to live faithfully. Faith sees with Christ's eyes. Faith embraces Christ's view of God and life, and it lives accordingly.
Once when Jesus and his disciples were on a boat and caught in a terrible storm, the disciples were panic-stricken. Jesus said to them, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?" (Mark 4:40). Jesus knew and trusted the Father, and he was calm. He saw that they were all in God's care. Faith sees what Christ sees. It looks with his eyes on all things.
Holy Spirit, open our eyes to see Jesus, our Savior, and give us his eyes to see our neighbor so that in all things we may imitate him. In his name we pray. Amen.