In today’s world, tradespeople are highly valued. Qualifying as a skilled tradesperson is a lengthy process. After three years or more of college comes another two- or three-year apprenticeship, working beside a master of the trade. Covid-19 has made it safer to learn all we need to know on our own from a book or the internet, but hands-on training beside a licensed tradesperson is essential. The apprentice learns timing, rhythm, intuition, creativity, relationships, safety, and so much more.
Learning a life of faith also requires an apprenticeship. Courses in theology and hours in Bible study can give necessary “head” knowledge. Reading and hearing about the tremendous faith of others like Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King provide inspiration. However, only close relationships with faithful family members, friends, church leaders and co-workers can truly lead us into faithful lives. I know I am a person of faith because all my life God has surrounded me with faithful people. Just as God’s Word became human and lived among us in the person of Jesus, God’s Word can be embodied in parents, siblings, friends, even strangers.
With all our flaws, we are also called to be the master tradespeople, identified people of faith for others, even while being an apprentice. When a known person of faith volunteers at the food bank, brings a casserole to seniors shut-in by Covid-19, keeps vigil with a dying friend, just calls to check-in because he/she cares, offers to pray with or for someone, we are living our faith. Even as I rock and pray for baby Riley, or talk on Skype with our Vancouver grandchildren and pray for them, I am living the Christian faith. Others become people of faith because they have experienced God’s love, caring and action through people like you and me.
Living the role of apprentice can feel huge. Knowing that we’re also living the role of master tradesperson, God’s hands and feet and heart, is downright scary. We can only do it because we are not alone. God is our strength and wisdom, and God has called a host of others to walk with us. We need only do our best, and God will do the rest. May we never forget that this awesome task is God’s blessing for us.
Today’s Faith by Rev. Janet Stobie