Vase to faith

Here’s a Sunday thought that occurred to me: What is the difference between religion and faith in a living God?

“Religion” to me is like a Ming vase locked up in a storage case in your home. You can worship it, venerate it, pass it on from generation to generation. You can study it, talk about it with other people who collect Ming vases, and even feel better about yourself because you have a Ming vase and say that you love it. Other people will even say it is a lovely and beautiful thing … and you might vote for them when they do.

But will it heal you? Can it bring you peace? Can you take it off its shelf and put it on your table at dinner time – even pour cream out of it, or serve your guests from it? Could you go so far as to lend it to your neighbors, or take it with you on a trip? Will you let your kids handle it up close and personal so they can enjoy its beauty and practicality? Can it stand up to having rocks thrown at it, and still bind the wounds of the one who did the throwing?

That is faith, my friends.

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