The challenge for all of us is:
to become more and more the kind of people who are aware of the divine presence, attuned to the ruach [the spirit of God], present to the depths of each and every moment, seeing God in more and more and more people, places, and events, each and every day.
what our experiences of God do at the most primal level of consciousness is jolt us into the affirmation that whatever this is, it matters. This person, place, event, gesture, attitude, action, piece of art, parcel of land, heart, word, moment – it matters.
Thus Rob Bell, What We Talk about When We Talk about God. This, indeed, is the way to live, yet as Bell rightly notes, it is a challenge for us, who so often live in the past or the future rather than in the present moment.
Because of [faith], you freely, willingly, and joyfully do good to everyone, serve everyone, suffer all kinds of things, love and praise the God who has shown you such grace.
Thus Martin Luther in ‘An Introduction to St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans’, quoted by John Swinton, Raging with Compassion: Pastoral Responses to the Problem of Evil. Swinton goes on to say that:
Faith … is countercultural. It is not a work of reason; indeed, it is not something that, on their own, human beings can achieve at all. It is an act of God’s grace wherein a person learns what it means to live in the power of the Holy Spirit and to love God in all things, even in suffering.
God showed us in Christ a love that abides, that perseveres, that remains present to us, however bad things are, for however long it takes; a love that sticks around, a love that stays put, a love that hangs on. … In the resurrection, God made clear to us in Christ that nothing – neither death nor life – can separate us from God’s love. And in the sending of the Spirit, God promised to be with us always, to the end of time, and to empower us to be Christ for others and find Christ in them, beyond our own strength and courage.
Samuel Wells and Marcia A. Owen, Living without Enemies: Being Present in the Midst of Violence