By Jonathan LeMaster-Smith
Adjunct Instructor at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary and United Methodist Global Ministries Earthkeeper
Glen Alpine, North Carolina
First, read Psalm 40:1-4
I hear a lot of stories. Stories from people who have lost trust. Mainly, they have lost trust in companies, organizations, and governments to provide jobs and stable incomes.
They put so much trust in these companies. They didn’t go to college. They went to work. They worked hard. They made a living for their families. Now, they work three part-time jobs making significantly less than they made in the factories. They trust very few people and groups.
In the season of Lent—spring—we put trust in the fact that the days will get longer, warmer, and more productive. In the south, we trust we can plant our crops just after Good Friday. We trust that even though death happens, resurrection will follow. Even if it takes a few days, weeks, years, resurrection will follow.
Perhaps, during this season of Lent we can share our trust in the changing of the seasons and the promise of resurrection. Not in a superficial prayer horned into a worship service but in the actions of our churches and communities. In acts of complete trust. The church where I am a member recently started a chapter of the Augustine Literacy Project, a literacy project designed to get children reading on grade level through one on one tutoring and mentoring with a trained adult from the community.
This program, a commitment by the congregation, put trust that parents and tutors will commit to helping the children in the community. This trust has already paid off. Community members are approaching church members and praising the improvements of the children in the program. The trust our church placed in the possibility of this tutoring program is growing and being shared with others. This trust, a trust both in God and in the possibilities of a community, is sprouting.
1. During this season of Lent, think about the trust we place in simple things whether it is that the lights work in our house or that the grocery store will have milk. Now, wonder about how this compares to the need to trust in God.
2. What are the limits on trust you see in your life, church, and community?
3. How is trust in God, the community, and the church being restored in your context?