What kinds of risks and sacrifices do our faithful promises require? When you face today, do you wonder how your life is threatened because of the good you’re setting out to do? Lots of people do. Are you in that number?
Faithful risk to fulfill our promises often means challenging the way things are. We have hunger, homelessness, slavery, epidemics, violent streets and violent homes, environmental pollution, dispossession, desperation, racism, sexism, classism, ageism, ableism and other forms of bigotry. In and amidst and at least in part because of many of these challenges, struggles, and sins many of us are busy making the best life we can, avoiding trouble as much as possible, even when trouble might be necessary to bring hope, help, and healing.
Losing our lives to save them is about letting go of the expectation or hope that our faithful promises do not ask more sacrifice from us than is comfortable for us. How are your faithful promises calling you to discomfort? When my heart hardens against particular people, eventually I will be reminded of my faithful promises and realize I have not been living into them. I pray then to be more generous than I want to be, to be more open-hearted than I find comfortable, to risk faithfully to live more fully into my promises. Those prayers help me sustain my commitment. Action follows, and the fear that goes with it.
Faithful risk and sacrifice are not easy, but they are often necessary to fulfill our promises and live into our covenant with the Holy.
How are your faithful promises calling you to discomfort?
What do you need to pray or meditate on to let go of or lean into to take the faithful risk to fulfill those promises?
What sacrificial and risky actions do you need to take to be faithful?
If you are practicing a Lenten discipline, ask yourself these questions and focus on the promise, the risk required, and your actions to risk faithfully, with one area a week in Lent.