Post by Pastor Stephen
I encountered this phrase first in college while I was studying theology at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC (one of our fantastic ELCA universities). “Faith is caught more than it’s taught,” rang true with my life and my studies. Yes, I was learning so much in the classroom, though I seemed to learn more content and practice from my professors who seemed to engage the faith beyond the classroom lecture. Those who prayed for their students, and who worked with us in mission, and who showed up for weekly chapel.
This wasn’t only true for my professors. God had also been working in my life forming faith in my life from before my earliest memories. I had been “catching” faith from my parents, grandparents, and neighbors. The way they prayed influenced me. They way they trusted Jesus built my trust. The way they served trained my heart for service.
As Lutherans we don’t aim to pass along a generic faith in some god who simply wants you to be nice and happy. That’s not Christianity. Look at the readings this Sunday, they drive us to focus on the specifics of who our God is revealed in Jesus: the Son sent by the Father through whom we receive eternal life. It’s not a faith that is simply about being nice and happy, it’s a faith which is active in the world: we are sent just like Jesus was sent.
A faith focused on Jesus the Son of God. A faith focused on being sent just as Jesus was sent into the world. That’s Christianity! Look for that in the reading from John 17:6-19, and while you do, I want you to think about who you’ve seen living that faith. Whom have you caught that faith from?