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  • Wayne Chasney

Where Have all the Faithful Gone?


Help, O LORD, for there is no longer anyone who is godly; the faithful have disappeared from humankind. (Psalm 12:1)

 

                  When I opened up the readings for today and saw this as the very first verse on the page, I laughed out loud. It’s so easy to feel “holier than thou” and wonder where have all the faithful gone. It’s nice to know people felt the same way long, long ago.

                  I have been accused of being a “lukewarm” Christian. I’m not entirely sure what that means, but I guess it has something to do with not wearing a cross around my neck, waving my hands in the air while singing praise songs, and asking everyone I meet if they are “saved.” In the north where I grew up, where we sat stoically in our pews and sang hymns with all the gusto of a funeral dirge, we were referred to as “God’s frozen chosen.”

                  I am an introvert who lives out of my head more than my heart. You are not going to find me leading praise songs (which given my lack of singing talent is a good thing) or wiping tears from my cheeks while singing “Amazing Grace.”

                  You will find me proclaiming the kingdom of God here among us and doing my best to love my neighbor as myself. You will find me advocating for justice and mercy and grace, especially for those our society often excludes and leaves behind. And you will find me trying my best to treat everyone I meet as a companion child of God as we together make our way on this journey of life. To me, those are also markers of a life of faith.

              The Psalmist was likely reacting to people who were sacrificing to idols and worshiping other gods rather than Yahweh, the God of Israel, in which case they were right to question the faithfulness. But I wonder, too, if there wasn’t a little bit of judgement for those who remained faithful, but perhaps in more subtle ways.

              There are many ways to express our faith in God. Best to walk in another’s shoes before we judge the temperature of their faith.

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