Do I Have Faith In The Groundhog To Predict Weather?

If the groundhog comes out of his hole on Feb. 2 and sees his shadow, he is frightened, returns to hibernation, and there will be six more weeks of winter. –American tradition

If calendars and dates are human constructions to help us keep track of things, do groundhogs even know what day it is?

Do you know that from now until the first day of spring is about six weeks?

Back to our friend, the groundhog. How many of us have faith in its ability to predict weather?

But Paul in his short example of Abraham (Romans 4) uses trust, believe, and have faith an astounding 16 times as verbs describing Abraham. Repeating a word just once lends emphasis. 16 times! Think Paul was making a point?

And what came first–belief or religion?

Belief.

Belief in, trust in, having faith in God is our core response to life.

What about those who do not believe or are not sure about this believe thing?

Well, obviously we should be helping and guiding them toward belief.

Should we differentiate according to race, gender, tribal affiliation, geography, or anything else? No.

If they have faith in God, we should embrace them. Not grill them about whether they accept every tenet of our particular branch of religion.

If they are a child in their belief (not necessarily age), then we should be teaching them the appropriate disciplines (study, meditation, worship, etc.) to help them grow to maturity in faith. (Paul says that elsewhere.)

If they have not faith, it is our duty not to condemn them, but to welcome them. And show them the fruit of faith. And lead them to faith.

Some of us like the mystery and majesty of a Catholic mass (I do, and I’m not Catholic). Some like an old-fashioned protestant worship with organ and hymns written in the 1800s. Some like guitars and drums (I do, go figure, must be bipolar or something). Some like quiet contemplation and prayer.

That’s just different types of people and different styles of upbringing.

What matters is what Noel Paul Stookey wrote in his song Hymn about visiting a church at offering time:

“I just had time to write a note, and all I said was ‘I believe in you’.”

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