Faith: Finding comfort in a world full of uncertainty
Where do you find great comfort in your life of faith in today’s world, which is so full of strife, tension and uncertainty? I often find it in the words of hymns, songs sung by my ancestors that gave them comfort, such as “Faith of Our Fathers.”
Oftentimes, I find comfort in the liturgy, knowing how we use the same liturgy that our parents and grandparents used. My wife, Christine, and I just returned from a trip to Germany, where we were fortunate enough to attend the Passion Play, given every 10 years in Oberammergau, Bavaria, Germany, since the 1630s.
The people of that small town were facing imminent death as the Black Plague, the Bubonic Plague, ravaged all of Europe. The people of Oberammergau decided that the only thing that they could do was to pray.
They prayed to the Lord God Almighty, that if their town was not struck by the Black Plague, they would have the entire town participate in a play depicting the Passion of the Christ. They were saved from the plague and from that point in time onward have produced and had the townspeople act in, sing in and participate in whatever form they could in glorifying God for His saving grace for His people.
We considered ourselves so fortunate to be able to have seats for the performance that had been delayed for two years due to the pandemic of COIVD-19. Although the production was completely in German, knowing the story intimately and having my childhood years of speaking German refreshed, it was just like hearing it in English. It was 2.5 hours long, followed by a two-hour dinner break, followed by 2.5 hours until the completion.
By the time the Passion Play was completed, we felt exhausted, drained and thoroughly immersed in the story of the Passion of the Christ. We were comforted, we were excited, we were part of a community that was participating in a ceremony that had been ongoing since the 1630s.
There were one thousand attendees in the theater in Oberammergau that day, and prior to our departing to attend the play, Christine asked me if I needed any Kleenex or tissues, to which I replied that wouldn’t be necessary since I knew the story so well that it wouldn’t affect me.
Well, I am proud to say how wrong I was, since at the end of the play I, too, was among a thousand people weeping with how beautifully the story was told, and how involved the entire community of Oberammergau was in their tradition of fulfilling a covenant they had with the Lord about saving their lives, which are so precious in the sight of the Lord.
So, wherever you are in your walk with the Lord, take comfort in knowing the love that He has for you, whether it be through music, through study, through the liturgy or just being in community with fellow believers. Remember the faith of our fathers, the devotion shown in worshipping the Lord, and the passing on to us the necessity of attending church, being in a loving relationship with both the Lord and our fellow man and the knowledge that the Lord loves each and every one of us.
Please attend a house of worship, be in a community of believers that place the Lord as the highest priority in their lives, and pass on to your children and grandchildren the faith of your fathers that you received.
The Rev. Bain White is the priest/pastor at St. Mark’s Church of Grace in Craig. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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