We don’t often think of fidelity when we think of our Christian journey. But fidelity is the basis of our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ. Fidelity is a word which means loyalty or faithfulness to a promise. We make many promises to be faithful in our walk with Christ. Do you remember your baptismal vows–those promises made at your baptism and affirmed over and over in our worship? In response to each baptismal question, we answer that we will with God’s help.
The first vow we make is to the question, “Will you continue in the apostles teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers?” So we say, “I will with God’s help”. Our response is one of fidelity lived out not just in the words we use to answer the question, but also in the actions we take every day.
We show our fidelity or loyalty to Christ by the choices we make to live honest, truthful lives. We show our fidelity by our participation in worship week after week when it would be easier to sleep late or watch the worship broadcast at a more convenient time. We show our fidelity by giving our first gifts to God when we receive each paycheck and trusting God to provide what we need. We show fidelity by daily prayer patterns and teaching our children about God’s grace and love.
A monk at a monastery once told me that fidelity was the hardest thing he ever had to do, because sometimes he did not want to be there or to do that ministry; but he had promised and so he continued on. Fidelity in marriage is often the hardest part of living into that sacrament because we sometimes don’t feel like we want to continue; but usually we do continue because we promised. When we live into our promises we find that our desire to be faithful, to remain in relationship becomes a joy; and fidelity to our promises is what gets us through the times when we are not sure what we want to do.
I will with God’s help. I will be faithful to the one who claims me as His own. I will by my life and choices show my fidelity to God. I will intentionally live in a way which invites others to find the strength to join in this journey with Christ. Will you join me, as we at St. Matthew’s continue in the apostles teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers? Will you be faithful to your baptismal promises and continue to be Christ to one another? Faithfulness to our baptismal vows can be difficult at times. Fidelity to community is hard. Faithfulness to Christ and fidelity to the Church which represents Christ to the world are the ministry to which we are each called. I invite your prayers this week to focus on the first baptismal promise and to discern how you are called to faithfulness. “Will you continue in the apostles teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers?” So we say, “I will with God’s help”.
See you Sunday.