Framing the Faith
Framing; a definition: A frame in social theory consists of a schema of interpretation, a collection of anecdotes and stereotypes, that individuals rely on to understand and respond to events. In other words, people build a series of mental filters through biological and cultural influences. They use these filters to make sense of the world. The choices they then make are influenced by their creation of a frame. (Wikipedia)
Huh? That’s what I thought when I read what is a pretty in-depth definition of something we do every day. The important aspect of framing is in bold font above. We use filters to make sense of the world. Without thinking, we routinely make decisions, weigh pros and cons, and make choices based on a whole variety of “filters.” So where do those filters come from? We develop filters from our experiences in culture, our environment, our family, our friends, our values, our morals, our faith. But what of that faith? Shouldn’t that find a place near the top of the list? After all, God’s desire for us is that we live our best life here and now. For that reason he has inspired the authors of the Bible, sent Jesus to teach us and show us the way, and connected us in a Christian community to help us know what that best life looks like.
Our challenge lies in establishing priorities. We are called to be God’s people, sent into the world to give others a glimpse of God’s goodness in our lives. How well equipped are we for that journey? That answer will depend on the person. If we were talking about going camping, there are folks that just live for it. They’ll have their gear packed and be ready to go in 15 minutes. Then, there would be people like me that wonder if they have Wi-Fi out in them there woods… As with anything in life, practice and passion can make a great deal of difference.
When we hear the good news of the promise we have in Jesus, the passion is there. We can’t help but be overcome with joy and excitement when God proclaims to us, “You are part of my family now through Christ.” That is good news! But we find ourselves slowly backing away from that urging to go and make disciples, to take God’s good news into the world. I think we just need practice, we need experience, we need to know how to frame the faith so that we can live it and we can communicate it with others.
Our second initiative from the visioning process is to “Live God’s Call.” We can do that best when we spend time learning and living what that call is all about. This fall, we’ll be launching a new experience that will be the foundation of our discipleship process. Framing the Faith will be a 7-week evening series that will help us understand and incorporate God’s filters for making sense of the world. We will revisit the basics of who Jesus is and why he did what he did. We’ll talk about prayer, the Holy Spirit, and how God desires us to live. Pastor Ted and I will be doing the teaching, we’ll gather in small groups to discuss and share, and we’ll all work toward framing the faith for work and life together.
If you’ve ever wondered, “Where do I start?” start here. Join us at Framing the Faith and build a strong foundation for your life with God. Look for more information coming out soon!