Feb 29 2012

Lenten reflection: Having faith even in the face of confusion

Every Wednesday throughout Lent we will post a reflection on the upcoming Sunday readings. We hope these help you on your own Lenten journey. This week’s reflection was written by CFCA preacher Father Jeff Kirch, C.PP.S.

Thirty eyes gazing at you in utter confusion. Fifteen blank faces staring at you as if you had just spoken a foreign language.

Anyone who has ever attempted to teach young people knows what “utter confusion” looks like. Seemingly everything is going fine and then suddenly a corner is turned and the world has been turned upside down.

This is true in mathematics, chemistry, English and life.

The readings for the Second Sunday of Lent offer us two glimpses of confusion. Abraham, our father in faith, was chosen by God and received the promise. But suddenly everything seems to be in peril as God asks him to sacrifice Isaac.

Peter, James and John, the closest of Jesus’ friends, walk up the mountain, experience the Transfiguration, and then suddenly are told that Jesus must suffer and die.

I am sure Abraham, Peter, James and John were utterly confused. Their lives, in fact, their very futures were in jeopardy.

There are countless times when that same feeling comes over many of us. Times when we are not so sure what God has in store for us. Times when nothing seems to make sense. Times when we are groping for answers to the perennial question, “Why?”

CFCA weekend presentation

Shera wonders which person her family should sponsor at a 2011 CFCA weekend presentation. The family eventually chose Risper from Nairobi, Kenya.

It is in the very midst of that question, “Why?” that we need to be reminded of these scriptures.

Abraham, Peter, James and John surely asked, “Why?” but they didn’t stop with the question. They went the extra step. They continued to place their faith in God, despite the contradiction they were witnessing.

In writing this reflection, I’m reminded of the many people I encounter during CFCA weekend presentations.

Dozens of people crowding around a table, encountering the children and aged whom we serve. Families in Iowa, Indiana and New York who are invited to walk up the mountain with CFCA.

No doubt that some of us wonder why poverty exists. We wonder why children around the world go hungry far too often. We wonder why the poorest of the poor suffer.

And yet, in the midst of the confusion, CFCA gives each of us an opportunity to be part of the solution.

The season of Lent is our time on the mountain. When we have been called up the mountain, when we have witnessed incredible events, when we are in utter confusion, our response is faith.

Faith in a God who keeps God’s promise. Faith in Christ who, even though he was crucified, rose on the third day. Utter confusion becomes utter amazement.

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