A few weeks ago, my favorite advice columnist let me down.
Now, I don’t turn to Carolyn Hax for theological guidance–nor does she usually offer it–but I do think her relationship advice is pretty solid. So, I was disappointed to read her take on faith:
“Faith isn’t in the teachings or rituals of the group. It’s in the individual’s belief—with one after another after another combining to create a religion.”
I was so disappointed, I included this quote in my sermon that week so I could preach against it. Take that, Ms. Hax.
Truly, I think this understanding of faith is more than wrong. It’s dangerous.
Zoe and I were having a Duplo build-a-thon yesterday (Duplos, for the uninitiated, are Bigger Legos). Zoe wanted to build a tall tower, with just the smaller blocks “one after another after another.” Guess what? This is not the sturdiest way to build. You need the bigger pieces. You need a base. And, when the tower gets really tall, you need at least one pair of hands to hold it up.
Not to get all metaphysical on a Sunday afternoon, but . . . piling little block on top of little block doesn’t sustain a tower, and piling individual belief on top of individual belief doesn’t sustain a religion. We need each other. We need each other’s voices, each other’s stories, each other’s hands. And when the tower falls down–as even a reinforced tower will do–we need each other to cry or laugh with us as we get ready to build again.
We need to know that, no matter what, it’s God’s hands that are holding us up.
What are you building these days?