A businessman moved over slightly as a young man crowded into the airplane seat next to him. They both fastened their seatbelts and the businessman inquired into whether the young man was traveling for business or pleasure.
“Pleasure,” the young man replied, “I am on my honeymoon.”
“Your honeymoon?” the businessman asked, mystified. “Where’s your wife?”
“Oh, she’s a few rows back. The plane was full, so we couldn’t get seats together.”
The plane hadn’t started rolling yet, so the businessman said, “I’d be happy to change seats with her so that the two of you can be together.”
“That’s okay” the young man replied. “I’ve been talking to her all week.”
When I read this story this week, it made me immediately think about how we treat God after the Christmas holidays. We have been diligently attentive to our spiritual nature during the month of December and gleefully worshipped God on Christmas Eve.
However, now we feel like that young man and figure “it is alright, I’ve been talking to God all month.” We’d rather get our temporary God-fix rather than explore ways to deepen and broaden that relationship with Him.
John 15:7 challenges us that “if you remain in me, and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done.” Whenever I share this verse, I am asked, what does it mean to “remain in Christ.”
This is accomplished through personal and corporate worship: prayer, studying of scripture, and the sacraments. We speak to God through prayer, God speaks to us through scripture; baptism initiates us into God’s community and the Lord’s Supper sustains us.
Faith, just like all human relationships is a challenging adventure, because it takes time to develop, takes commitment and takes participation. It is not as though one day we will pray the perfect prayer, or comprehend the Bible completely, or have this incredible worship experience that removes any future needs for prayer, study or worship. Instead, all three of these are essential ways for us to continue to grow in our faith.
As you seek to begin a new calendar year, how might your faith deepen?