May 7

You are a God ready to forgive, gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Nehemiah 9:17

If we are faithless, he remains faithful – for he cannot deny himself. 2 Timothy 2:13

I can resist everything but temptation.  — Oscar Wilde

I think all of us can relate in some way to the Oscar Wilde quote above.  Everyone has had a diet that we cheated on… just a little… to share that special treat that a coworker brought in for someone’s birthday.  Same with a carefully written out budget that has fallen by the wayside, whether it be as practical as an unexpected car repair or that pair of shoes you just had to buy, even if it meant eating ramen noodles for the rest of the month. For some people, shopping is who they are — which is to say what they’re known for among their family and friends, or what they think of themselves.

This is not to say that this sort of thing makes us faithless, just that we as humans can’t always deny ourselves of whatever worldly goods that we want to have. The same can be said about who we are as people. You may have heard someone say, “I can’t deny who I am.”  That could be referring to one’s moral code or faith tradition or countless other things. As with anything else, not being able to deny who we are can be a good thing or a bad thing, if we need to change something about ourselves and refuse because we think it’s who we are. 

However, as this verse from 2 Timothy reminds us, Jesus can never, and would never, deny that he is Christ, the son of God.  Even when he is being questioned before he is sentenced and crucified, when asked if he is the son of God, he answers only “You say that I am.” (Luke 22:70) To be faithful is to be loyal, dependable, steadfast and so many other synonyms, and he is faithful to us, even with all our sin and refusal to recognize our own sins, he is the most loyal friend we could have. He sees in us our deepest thoughts, both good and bad, and loves us and forgives us despite ourselves. 

Loving and faithful God, our friend throughout all we do, help us to better see into our own hearts and honestly confess to you what we have done and what we have left undone. May we never deny that we are your children and marked with the cross of Christ forever in our baptism. Guide us to make the choice to help others whenever we can and to serve you by loving and caring for others.  Amen

Peace

Lynda Tysdal