“Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.” – Proverbs 3:3-4
One of my clearest memories in the ordination process was sitting at the Preaching Festival and hearing Nadia Bolz-Weber share that if she was traveling she would not preach that week because she hadn’t been around her people to let them speak into the word she would bring the next week. Keeping all of worship, even the sermon itself, as a work of the people, has been such a comforting yet convicting call on my life in leadership. So in preparing to write this, I asked a variety of people what the word faithful meant to them.
For those in the church? Answers included: God’s goodness, going to worship, staying involved at church, talking to Jesus.
For those not in the church? Answers were a little different: To keep trying, making sure my husband doesn’t cheat again, not quitting, staying committed.
The “official” Google answer? Loyal, true, devoted, unswerving, unwavering, dedicated, committed, trusted, obedient, dutiful, precise, authentic, convincing.
One answer struck me the most: my six-year-old son’s:
Me: Mommy’s working on something for church. What do you think of when you hear the word faithful?
T: Doing what you’re made to do.
Me: …Made like I make you do it?
T: Um… No!! Made like God MADE us so we can love him. So we’re faithful.
Loving God, help us to be faithful. May we each wear the love and faith of a child around our necks and on our hearts – may we walk and talk to all we encounter in a way that will help to lead them to full-bodied faithfulness. Help us to share and invite others into the relationship and faithfulness we each were made for. Amen.
Jen Swindell is an ordained Deacon serving at Asbury Church (Raleigh).