The season of Lent, which begins on March 2, Ash Wednesday, invites us to continually be renewed in Christ. We are renewed in faith as we return daily to the relationship God created with us in baptism. Being renewed in faith is more a matter of the heart than a matter of the head.
My understanding of this idea has been deepened by the writing of biblical scholar Marcus Borg about what it means to believe. Borg writes:
Prior to the seventeenth century, the word “believe” did not mean believing in truth of statements or propositions . . . . Grammatically, the object of believing was not statements, but a person. Moreover, the contexts in which it is used in premodern English make it clear that it meant: to hold dear; to prize; to give one’s loyalty to; to give one’s self to; to commit oneself. It meant . . . faithfulness, allegiance, loyalty, commitment, and trust.
Most simply, “to believe” meant “to love.” Indeed, the English words “believe” and “belove” are related. What we believe is what we belove. Faith is about beloving God. . . . to believe in God is to belove God. . . . Faith is the way of the heart.
Marcus J. Borg, The Heart of Christianity: Rediscovering a Life of Faith, pp. 40, 41
The Lent coloring page on page 7 of this newsletter is in the shape of a heart with a cross superimposed on it. You can use it to mark the journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter Day by coloring one section a day. As you do so, be reminded that “faith is about beloving God” whose love for us was revealed by the cross
Pastor Wayne Matthias-Long