People have told me many personal stories about how they have experienced God in their lives. They felt the presence of God when they watched the birth of their children; in an embrace by a family member when a loved one died; and when they experience redemption through Jesus Christ.
Twenty years ago I met a man named Jim. He lived in a small rural community and attended the United Methodist Church. He attended services regularly, but didn’t participate beyond Sunday morning. One day he came to my office, and we sat down over a cup of coffee.
At first, we talked about a little of everything, but it was also about nothing. Finally he told me a little bit of his story. He was a recovering alcoholic. He told me about how he hurt many people including his family. He also hurt himself. He didn’t give me any details because he didn’t need to.
Finally, he told me about coming back to church. He was a little afraid because everyone in that small town knew his secrets. When he walked in the door, he was greeted like the child he had been instead of the adult alcoholic he had become. He didn’t use these words, but he told me about how he was redeemed by the body of Christ.
God often finds us during emotional and experiential times in our lives. As we continue on the journey of faith, we learn how to incorporate scripture, reason, and tradition with our experiences. We call this the Wesleyan Quadrilateral.
Combining scripture, reason, tradition, and experience can help us grow ‘Spiritually’ from the faith of a child…to the faith of an adult. It’s similar to the spiritual growth St. Paul’s referred to in his statement found in I Corinthians 13:11 (NIV):
“When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.”
As Jesus’ disciples we are called to grow beyond a childlike ‘Spirituality.’ We are called to a Spirituality based in experience AND reason. This doesn’t mean we will ever know all the answers. In fact, we may discover that we find more questions. Knowing God is a bit of a paradox. When you know God, you begin to understand…you will never fully know God.
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909 19th Ave. N., Fargo ND 58102 * 701-232-6844
The next food distribution by the Fargo Faith Food Ministry will take place on Friday, September 24th, from 2:00-3:00 p.m. If you are in a situation where you are food insecure and need help feeding yourself or your family, please come visit us on September 24th.
Faith United Methodist Church is located at 909 19th Avenue North, Fargo.