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Keep the faith, especially in 2020

I've written about faith on this blog once before, but I thought writing about it again couldn't hurt. After all, as a Christian, I am called to spread God's word.

I've been attending services online during the pandemic, and my pastor today talked about the story of Jesus walking on water. When Peter walked out onto the water and noticed the wind was strong, he became terrified and began sinking. Jesus said, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. There are so many distractions in our lives that we can overlook what is truly important and lose our faith in Jesus.

Today's sermon and story from Matthew's gospel reading reminded me of a dream I had years ago. I was swimming at the pool at XSport Fitness gym and when I began to sink, a mighty hand pulled me out of the water. The Bible verse from Hebrews 13:5 burned into the side wall of the gym below a cross. When I awoke, I turned my Bible to reference Hebrews 13:5, "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

The number of Christians in this country and in this world continues to decrease. Churches and Christian schools everywhere are closing and congregations are getting smaller. My church, St. Paul Lutheran, used to carry a good size enrollment at both its school and Sunday School. Now, that school is closed and it struggles to find kids to come on Sundays. Even services for Easter and Christmas don't have the turnout that they once had. Our youth group has not held an event in a few years since all the youth vanished from the church.

We need to keep the faith, reverse the course. A church is not a building, but a body of believers. Yet if that body cuts itself off from the blood of Christ, we cannot survive. We cannot become like Peter who doubted Christ when he told him to walk to him on the water. Faith can move mountains just as easily as sin can ravage the human race.

This year may be one of the worst years in human history. We have a widespread pandemic, violence all over our nation, racial divide, rapid unemployment, political corruption, natural disasters and even murder hornets. And that's exactly why we need to keep the faith and spread that faith like never before.

We need to trust science, yes. But we need to put our faith in God. We need to come back to Him, the one who died for us to save us. If we just followed Him, the world would be a better place - one free from violence and hatred. We would live by the Golden Rule. We would lean on him in times of suffering rather than cast him aside. And we need to lean on him more than ever now. So, please have faith. It's the only thing that is constant.

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