I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. Jesus
What does it mean to you to be “a person of faith?” How does what you believe about God/Jesus/Church impact your day to day living? Is your faith something that comes out only on Sundays when you come to church? Do you feel a sense of God’s presence on a regular basis? Do the teachings of Jesus effect your daily choices?
If your answer to most of these questions was no, please don’t feel guilty! We don’t work in guilt equations around here. I ask these questions as a sort of assessment for how you understand your faith and its impact on your daily living. As a rostered leader in the ELCA, I have access to our church’s Health and Benefits program. A few years ago, they created this colorful little model for us called the Wholeness Wheel. As you can see, it is a way of understanding our faith life as something deeply intertwined with all aspects of our being.
Throughout the 4 gospels, Jesus speaks widely on what it means to have faith in God. From how we spend our money to our interpersonal relationships, Jesus has much to say about the all-encompassing (and somewhat all-consuming) changes that occur when people are swept up in following him. As people who live in a culture and society that values busy-ness and full schedules as proof of how important we are, it can seem exhausting to imagine that our faith and its manifestation are more than just an hour on Sundays. But what Jesus offers in the gospels and in his conversations with others is exactly what you see in the center of the Wholeness Wheel...the freedom to be a New Creation! What this means is that We may live in an over-scheduled, high-achieving kind of valley, but also, we need not count our worth in those ways. Jesus and God call us to balanced lives that understand the gift of health and wholeness not just in our vocations and finances, but also in our interpersonal relationships, our intellectual well-being, our physical bodies, and our emotional health. When any one of these areas of our lives are not nurtured, it can leave us feeling out of sorts, imbalanced, stressed, and/or lost.
Over the next year of our time together during Sunday FED time, we will be focusing our Sundays together on one of the aspects of the Wholeness Wheel. We hope that this will serve to give shape to your faith growth and help you key in on certain Sunday FED times that will be most helpful for you and your faith. In addition, if you have any requests for FED topics for the year, send them my way! I look forward to the ways that we will grow in our faith together that we each may have life more abundantly!
Reverend Nathan Winterhof and Reverend Sara Pearson have been Co-Pastors at Prince of Peace Saratoga since April 2015. In addition to shepherding the congregation, they have two children and a dog to keep them on their toes and provide sermon material.