Have Faith, hope and love One Another. What are faith, hope and love? St. Paul says they are the greatest gifts. However, sometimes we don’t take the time to really think about them. What are they, and how do we express them?
Faith is belief. Think back to your childhood. Most of us had a parent to look up to. When we were very young, that parent could fix anything. We believed in their infallibility. We believed in their constant love and presence in our lives.
Faith in God is a lot like that. We put our faith in Him and in the Holy Trinity. We put our faith in Jesus, that was born of a virgin, suffered under Pontius Pilate, died, was buried and rose again. Churches that say the Apostle’s Creed will recognize that statement.
Pastor Robert Lyon Barker, III told his congregation that faith is the narrow door. We have to maintain our faith throughout our lives. It’s easy to forget about it; we have a lot to do. We live in a busy world. However, it is important to take time every day to think about our faith and concentrate on it.
Another pastor told a sort of joke about faith that can help us when we have trouble. A man was pacing back and forth in the middle of the night. He was worried about many things. God came down to him and said, “Son, why are you still awake?”
The man replied, “I am worried about many things, Lord. The world is in a mess, and I can’t sleep.”
God said, “Son, why don’t you go to bed and let me take over your worries.”
The Bible tells us to cast our cares upon the Lord and He will be faithful. Prayer is the key to faith.
We all hope for many things. Children hope that the brightly colored packages under the Christmas tree have the presents they have asked for. Some of us hope for a raise at work. We often hope for a better future, but is that the hope that was meant?
The answer is both yes and no. Yes, hoping for some things is better than being hopeless. However, Christian hope is in the Second Coming of Christ. It is hope for things to come. That doesn’t mean that all we should do is hope for it. We have work to do. That is we should, Have Faith, hope and love One Another
Having hope means showing it. That doesn’t mean in a condescending way; it means sharing hope with others and if possible not letting them know who was doing it.
We can wish someone who is struggling with a heavy door well or we can hold the door for them.
We can hope that someone helps the struggling and embarrassed young mother who is counting out change for her groceries or we can be that someone. Christianity is an active faith. Hope is not passive. It’s active.
That leads us to love. The greatest of love is agape love. That means it is unconditional, sacrificial and selfless. That is the love we are to strive for. That doesn’t sound easy does it?
Jesus talked about this type of love. He said we were to love our neighbors as ourselves. Then, a wit in the crowd asked Him who our neighbors were. His answer was the parable of the Good Samaritan. Here is a quick recap of that parable.
A man was walking down the road towards Jericho when he was beset by bandits. They robbed him, beat him up and left him by the side of the road. A Levite came by and passed on the other side of the road. A priest did the same thing.
Then came the man from Samaria. The Jewish people and the Samaritans had a hatred for each other. The Samaritan saw the injured Jewish man and took pity on him. He bound his wounds, put him on his donkey and walked beside it until they came to an inn.
Have Faith, hope and love One Another. He gave the innkeeper money for the man’s care and told him to do everything necessary.
If the innkeeper spent more than the money he was given, the Samaritan would repay him on his return.
Here is an interesting thing. Two Jewish people who ought to have rendered aid walked past. That’s not showing agape love. That’s more like self-interest or self-love. The Samaritan was an enemy, yet he went out of his way to help. That was an example of agape love.
How can we apply this to our lives? We are unlikely to find a wounded enemy to care for. That doesn’t mean there are no wounded people out there. A lot of things can cause wounds and many of them are wounds that can’t be seen.
Some examples I’ve seen of agape love at work are for veterans who die without a family or even friends to mourn. Whole towns turn out… if they hear about it. Agape love is going to those funerals to show love to someone who risked his life for us.
Agape love can be simple as well. Anyone who has shopped at Aldi supermarket knows that in order to have a cart you need a quarter. Next time, instead of getting your quarter back, try giving your cart to someone else.