Monday, July 2, 2012

Hope? Risk? Dare?

Last Sunday we pondered the inevitability of life's risks.  At some point a situation or relationship will take us to the limit of what is certain and it will be time to step beyond what is known into -- you name it.  Do we step from certainty into hope?  Do we race forward with a daredevil spirit?  Are we willing to risk everything, even the familiarity of our lives, as we lean towards the future?

Revisit these words from Pastor Randy's sermon (reread the Gospel if you wish).

This story does indeed speak about faith.  But the bottom line is, though from completely different backgrounds in life, these two share one crucial thing: taking a risk for that faith.  It was their risk taking that both had in common.  Each had something to lose by expressing their faith.  Jarius, in terms of his social status risked his reputation.  The woman, already looked down upon by society, risked further humiliation and possible punishment.  Jesus sees past all of that.  Jesus sees the risk for the faith.  This is what he wants to instill in all his believers, a willingness to forgo the standards of the world, and to reach out in faith.  A tough challenge for any person of any time or generation.  

As for me (Pamela) I have learned to know the difference between the time I am pushing the odds out of a crazy disregard of common sense (daredevil)... or when I believe that the odds are generally in my favor (hope).  I know that the familiarity of my circumstances (even if they are not particularly ideal) will often prevent me from stepping out -- even uncomfortable familiarity has a degree of comfort because it is predictable.  

Ah!  but Jesus calls us to be ok with taking risks in His Name.  An option may feel odd or uncomfortable.  Or it may even expose you to ridicule, embarrassment or punishment.  Still, when you take risks in His Name,  at the risk of people asking "What are you thinking?" He is at your side reminding you:  Your faith is going to give you power the others may not comprehend!

So, this week, we can be asking ourselves:    

At the edge of all that seems possible, are we being daredevils?  gamblers?  or.... are we seeing that in faith we can take a risk? When we reach out in faith our focus upon Jesus and His promises and His teachings may all cause us to stretch beyond predicted odds for success.  We may set aside the standards of the world.  We may boldly express a hope that contradicts rational expectations.  

Are you taking a risk this week?  Are you in relationship with somebody who needs to be reminded of faith's ability to bridge the gap between a certain present and an uncertain future?  

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