A reflection for Sunday 12th September 2021

Who do you say I am?

How much should, we the church, worry about what people believe or not? Do you need to ‘sign up’ to a statement of faith in order to take part in the journey of faith? Do you have to ‘know’ who Jesus is? To have certainty of faith, to know, without question what you believe or know about God or Jesus must be comforting. Never having to question what one believes would make my life so much easier because the older I get the more questions and doubts I seem to have and I know from conversations with some of you that you feel similarly.

What I believed at 20 I do not believe now, except that the ways of the man Jesus, still offer an excellent template by which to live and lead one’s life. At 20 I liked the ‘thou shalt nots’ and wished that if everyone followed the 10 Commandments they and the world would be perfect. Perhaps it might, but the world does not think that way. In today’s 21st century society I believe that we need to find ways of helping each other make sense of life and the big questions it poses and to seek answers not proscribed by ‘shalt not’ but by ‘try this and see’.

The faith of Christ that I want to share is a faith that is confident enough to allow doubt, questioning and exploratory thinking without fear. Not a faith that says – ‘I’ve got all the answers and this book will give them to you too.’

We are not people of a book. We are people or followers of the Word made flesh. For Christians our faith is expressed in the life of Jesus and in the ways that we witness to his way of being. He offers us guidance and direction but not a mapped out path that we all have to slavishly follow and I thank God that he does not. For it enables each of us to begin to answer his question - who do you say I am? And, to explore what that means for us and how we live our lives.