Some words I wrote for a homily for a Confirmation Service at the weekend. It’s been humbling how many people in the principally secular community in which I work have found them helpful.
Religious belief is about a journey. A journey lived in the life of every human being on this planet who recognises that there is more to this existence than just what we see around us. Yes, there is more to life than what is visible and material. There are also powerful feelings, there are insights, there is passion, there is failure, there is hidden guilt and a deep longing for things to be different; there is the majesty of the human spirit which triumphs over every adversity. And some of you have known that.
You may not call these things the stuff of religious belief, but I think they are. This journey of emotions and insight has the ability to open in every one of us a relationship with a God whom we barely knew existed. These feelings of love and passion and anger which we all have, may open a quality of relationship with a God that we never dared hope for.
And who is this God?
At one time in my life I thought I knew. I thought I had it all sorted out. I, like some of you perhaps, considered my beliefs unshakeable. But perhaps strangely, it was at the age of those being confirmed tonight that I started to doubt, to wonder and to wander, to look at things in a different way. I began to realise that I was not a sprinter in the life of the Christian faith. I was an unconfident person, who received some hard and painful knocks, but who still limped along.
So, I’d never be a great Christian person, but simply one whose little faith is, hopefully, enough.