In God we Trust?

The motto that has appeared on U.S. currency since 1957 poses an interesting question to Christians and Christian communities: Do we place more trust in the currency or in the One whose name is on it? Theologically, the motto confesses a fundamental belief. Whether we as individuals or as Church live out this article of faith is an issue for conversation.

Judeo-Christian history suggests “In God we Trust” may be a more aspirational confession than an actualized belief. To be sure, most of us who claim to trust God truly mean it. And yet, we continually ask for signs and miracles to prove God is worthy of our faith. Why, when God has given us so many signs and miracles, do we seek more tangible proof? Or ask for more signs and miracles? Our First Testament forebears were miraculously delivered from slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land. But at the first sign of trouble, they grumbled that it would have been better to stay and serve the Egyptians than die in the desert. They were given their daily bread and life-giving water in miraculous fashion (manna from heaven, water from rock). But what happened when Moses was too long atop Mount Sinai with God? They melted and molded their gold jewelry into a god that “could go before them.” Our Second Testament forbears stayed the course in spite of John the Baptist’s urgings. Miraculous signs of God’s love were manifest in Jesus preaching, teaching, healing and feeding. Throngs were energized in their faith by His acts. They treated Him as a triumphant hero riding into Jerusalem for the Passover festival but slipped quietly away when the situation turned dangerous. Are we Christians from the first through the 21st century any different?

As I look back on my life, I see people who have taken an interest in me or encouraged me in my faith by the model they set. Many are inspiring individuals present and past from Blue Valley Christian Church. Others are people whose stories are recorded in history or ripped from the day’s news. Lessons from the Bible and other sacred texts have informed my spiritual journey. Through the looking glass, I observe God being with me and for me every step of the way – in times of joy and in times of fear.

Though ample reason exists to proclaim my faith and trust in the God I love deeply and stand in awe of, I am ever mindful of the caution that comes with every investment offer: “Past performance is no guarantee of future performance.” Will I be like Peter and sink when I jump from the boat? Or deny the Christ when reality bites? My faith has never been tested as Job’s was. If the things that I cherish most in life were taken from me, would I still love and trust my God? I think so. I hope so. But I honestly do not know. How about you? Do you trust the currency more than the One whose name is on it?  Where is your faith leading you? Where is it leading the Church?

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