Pastor, Rev. David Jimenez
Dear Memorial Church Family,
I trust this newsletter finds you well and healthy. I know these unprecedented times can make life complicated and instill fear in many, but I encourage you that you take the Word of God to heart and live by faith (2 Cor. 5:7). Thankfully my family and I are doing well despite some minor health issues Barbara experienced over the last days, we are thankful that there were no lasting consequences to it. While that meant for me to pick up more of what Barbara does with our little one, we had a great time together and we were able to enjoy part of Autumn (in one picture you will see how difficult is for Anna to work picking up apples–ha!).
During the last few weeks, I have been working on a series of short video teachings I am doing for a ministry in Latin America. My intention is to use my degree to make Bible knowledge easily available to everyone who doesn't have the time to study a theological degree or the financial means. I believe that everyone who has the desire to know more about God should have easy access to it at a level they feel comfortable. I hope to do the same in English in the near future in Virginia.
On a different note, I have been keeping you all in my prayers every day for the upcoming days in the US. I am praying first for safety and health for you and your loved ones, as well as for a peaceful election (and subsequent) day(s). Above all I am praying for a spirit of unity and love in every American at any given time. I truly believe that Jesus' last prayer in the book of John is still relevant for us today: "that they will be one as you and I are one." So, let us be one in trusting Him knowing that He has a good plan for us if we remain in Him and He in us.
What it means to have faith? I don't know about you, but I have asked this question multiple times at different stages in my life. What it means to have faith? Sometimes we level having faith with a nice warm feeling inside of us, and while that is part of the answer it is not the whole answer. Some of us identify having faith to memorizing and quoting our beliefs as much as we can, and while this is part of the answer it is not the whole answer. Many of us, could see having faith as analogous to how much I pray, or much time I spend reading the Bible, and while this is part of the answer it is not the whole answer. In contrast, others, may see having faith as something that may come and go like a fragile butterfly that is close in good times, but may fly away in difficult ones. Some people can see it as keeping up with religious duties or expectations. But what truly means, "having faith"?
A few months ago, I was asking myself such question (along several others pertaining the afterlife, resurrection, and else), and by chance I came along a teaching of a renowned theologian who happens to be a professor and a minister (and even a Bishop of Durham in the UK). He explained that having faith is as simply as being faithful to Christ. He explained that even though one may experience doubts and questions during our walk with Christ, that did not constitute a violation of 'having faith' in Christ, but rather a sign of faithfulness that despite these doubts and questions one still keeps close to Christ. He exemplified being faithful with the life of Thomas the apostle.
For this reason, I encourage you, Memorial family, to keep your faith and loyalty to Jesus above everything, and follow Him as close as you can, because that is the true measure of faith. By following Him closer and keeping faithful to Him only, you will then find that all the other elements we mentioned before will come into place not as an answer but as the delight and the joy of being with Him. As Paul said to us in Romans 1:17 "For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith." Let's live by faith and not by sight, for in what we cannot see now, there is hope; and in what we cannot touch yet, there is life. May God be with you, as you remain faithful to Him. Amen!