In a world where faith is often construed as a way of thinking, bodily practices remind the willing that faith is a way of life.
– Barbara Brown Taylor
Just the other day, I was listening to my iPod in the car and had a cynical thought: Why is so tough to find truly good, new music? Most popular music these days is based on beats and hooks, with little attention left to lyrics and meaning. Music has become more consumable than I’d prefer. For me, good music is something to not only enjoy, but it’s an experience with which I can participate.
Music is, after all, part of God’s created order: sound waves and silence, harmony and dissonance, discord and resolution. Certainly music, for many of us, has the power to move and inspire. Then, sometimes, a particular lyric, well-timed crescendo or heavy pause can stop us in our tracks and take us into the depths of thought and feeling. It is in these moments that music is more than just an aesthetic benefit of human experience. Music is a gift that suggests a deepness to life which is beyond what our eyes and ears can perceive.
Is this not also true of faith? Faith is a gift from God that can unfold for us layers of meaning in our lives. Through faith we discover the other two virtues which make life truly worth living: hope and love. But this faith must be participatory, rather than mere observation or even a well-devised set of beliefs. Faith is not a thing that we can claim as “ours.” Instead, faith is an action that we choose to commit on a daily basis. How else can we expect to reach the world with the love of Christ?
“Faith is a gift from God that can unfold for us layers of meaning in our lives.”
I’ll leave you with two quotes that resonate with the harmony and tension of a living faith:
Then [Jesus] said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.” – Luke 9:23-24
We’re never gonna win the world
We’re never gonna stop the war
We’re never gonna beat this
If belief is what we’re fighting for
– Belief,by John Mayer