The Walk to Authenticity

Mark 6: 21 - 24 21 Jesus asked the father, "How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, "From childhood. 22 It has often cast him into the fire and into the water, to destroy him; but if you are able to do anything, have pity on us and help us." 23 Jesus said to him, "If you are able!-All things can be done for the one who believes."24 Immediately the father of the child cried out,[h] "I believe; help my unbelief!"

Dear Children of Our Creator,

Yesterday kicked off our 40 day Lenten Journey with both a reminder of our mortality, "Remember you are dust and to dust you shall return," and God's eternity promised through the one named Jesus.

The Lenten Journey is always one I so desire yet simultaneously dread, as it is a walk not to a destination found on a map but a determination of what is functioning in our heart, mind and soul. Ultimately, the purpose and meaning of life is to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself." So what is in me that keeps me from expressing and being love? That's the struggle!

From the search for self, one of the greatest discoveries is to recognize who YOU are authentically. For far too long, I had the sense following Jesus and being a part of God' s church asked me to wear certain masks or read from a particular script. You had to be holy happy and highly praised up in order to be a "true believer" or a "saved saint" in the Lord. You had to confess and believe all the articles of the Apostles' Creed and believe the Bible is the "inerrant" word of God. With my lips I would profess "I do!" but in my heart I was saying, "I do?" No matter the façade I put on the outside; I had some real struggles with faith, understanding and identity.

Until I fell in love with Jesus and His living with grace and I experienced His willingness to love and embrace people right where they were - "Just as I am!" The story above demonstrates a moment when a father brought his son to Jesus for him to be healed, hoping indeed Jesus could heal him. Yet at the same time he is stating the faith Jesus can heal, he is struggling with the doubt wondering if Jesus can heal? "I believe; help my unbelief!"

And guess what? Jesus does not scrutinize, scandalize or stigmatize the father after his confession. Jesus actually heals his son! Why? Because it was an authentic expression of how he felt and where he was in his own walk of faith. He was authentically himself. What God wants from us is to be real, really ourselves! Real with God; real with ourselves; real with one another. Be authentically the child of God you are- because God can handle the good, the bad and the ugly. Praise God!

Love, Pastor G

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