Pistis (Greek: Πίστις) was our special word from Sunday as we explored John 14 and Jesus’ call to have pistis toward him and God. It’s often translated “faith” and attributed to both faith in God and in Jesus but on Sunday we talked about its more active form: faithfulness.
To be faithful not only requires an interior spiritual life of trust and commitment but also a life that embodies these very ideals. While some have contrasted faith and works as if faith might exist without embodiment, we can hardly treat faithfulness in that way. If one is faithful to the First Baptist Church of Palo Alto, this has much to do with how one acts and embodies how one feels and thinks as a member of FBCPA. The same is true of one’s faithfulness to the United States of America or one’s partner in marriage.
To be faithful to Jesus Christ is to stand against popular opinion by standing up for morality. In the area of sexuality it means the inclusion of queer and trans* bodies, in the struggles against state violence it means the support of Black Mothers whose teens are being shot at alarming rates, in the face of President Obama’s fierce immigration raids it means standing firm as a Safe Sanctuary for undocumented people, in the face of mass deforestation it means asking the trees how they feel and being with them as they are murdered. To be faithful to Jesus Christ is to heal the leapers of our society: every being whose life is in danger of oppression, marginalization, or unnecessary suffering. It’s the kind of faithfulness that makes no sense sometimes as everyone will tell you it will never work out. I’m sure everyone thought Jesus’ famous last words on the cross would also never work out: “forgive them they know no what they do.” But then again, I’m convinced those famous last words are still proactively working 2000 some years later!
Are you up for the wild pistis Jesus calls us into?
We’re in this together so let’s get to work.