Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


Believing is Seeing

Bobby Walton's PhotoShopped version of Highway 40

The photo above is of our own St. Mary's Georgia. It shows highway 40 looking west with the Church of Christ sign visible to the right. It's hard to figure out where the photo was taken because of the prominent mountains towering over the scene. The photo is a creation of our own Bobby Walton who combined photos in Adobe PhotoShop.

So what happens to the old "seeing is believing"? The photo shows that you can't always trust your eyes. It also gives a chance to consider how believing is seeing.

Bobby's trick photo above is not the best example, for there is no deeper, underlying reality. But when see death, but we know the person who has died is with their Lord. Believing is seeing the person we grieve for with their loving creator in eternal life. When we see obstacles that prevent us from living the life to which God has called, believing is seeing that God will remove the obstacles.

Believing is seeing that the visible world is not all there is. The deeper reality is that God is present like a towering rock, if you will, to use the analogy of Bobby's photo. We do not see God's presence in our lives with natural sight, but with the eyes of faith. It's not that we turn our backs on reason, but that we move beyond what we can prove in a labaratory to what God can prove to us in our hearts.

God does not call us to this sort of faith without first giving something on which to reast our trust in him. As Pastor Leonard Vander Zee put it in a sermon on Saint Thomas' famous doubts of Jesus resurection,
Jesus meets Thomas in his doubts, just as he met Mary in her grief, and just as he met Peter in his guilt. Go ahead; touch me, says Jesus. In your blind doubt read the Braille of my wounds.
Jesus can take you where you are, and give you the sign you need to answer your present doubts before moving you to the place where believing is seeing. Do you have reasons you can't trust in God's presence? Give the doubts to God and ask for God to give you some sign. It probably won't be a mountain appearing over Saint Marys. Often it is something small to others, but that shows you within yourself the reality of God's presence in your life. Give it a try. As the Psalmist says, "Taste and see that God is good."

In the archives is the sermon Looking with the Eyes of your Heart

Faith is the evidence of things hoped for;
the conviction of things unseen.
—Hebrews 11:1

For we walk by faith, not by sight.
—II Corinthians 5:7


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