Word of the Week

The Quality of Faithfulness

Faithfulness . . . it is a word that makes me think of committment that lasts, the saying, "half the battle is showing up" and the time-honored hymn, "Great Is Thy Faithfulness" that has been sung at every major life event of mine (a dorky confession, yes I know).

Yet, more I ponder this word, I believe displays of it are a dying art.

We are a culture of "this suits me now," but "not now." We don't really know what it is like to do anything more than a year or two anymore.

The act of staying put, seeing something through, being a part of building something up instead of just being around for the party at the end is growing more all the more radical. Though I recently wrote about this in a previous post, I have the topic of faithfulness on my mind again today as it is part of our stewardship theme this year of "Building a Legacy of Faithfulness."

Our church has survived the ups and down of cultural changes in values about church and membership shifts for one simple reason: faithfulness both of God and of the people within. Without God's continued hand of guidance and protection over the church and without the people listening to God's call on their lives to participate in such work, Washington Plaza Baptist Church would not be today.

Yet, with the foundation of faithfulness, WPBC has stood the test of time showing through its tenacity what it means to be called "the people of God" in a particular place.

And, so this is what we are seeking to build upon as we look to the year ahead: honoring the faithfulness in the past, but reaching toward God's dreams for our future.

It all sounds nice, right? It is much easier said than seen in our day. Faithfulness is not something that can be qualifed by a grand statment but shows up in simple acts. These acts must be repeated over and over again in one's every day in order to be faithful.  You just can't altogether disengage in faithfulness or this virtue goes away.

I'm so glad that faithfulness is alive and well with so many at the church. I've been encouraged this week by several living testaments of faithfulness in our community of faith. I call these acts the "glue" that hold our church together:

- those who go spend their afternoon sitting with the aging husband of a church member so she can visit her ill son

-those who take calls about financial matters of the church even on vacation (!) because they know the calls can't wait

-those who appear at the church before daybreak to ensure our repair project on the building is going smoothly

-those who take the food in the basket for Reston Interfaith to the pantry for those in need

-those who continue to schedule and serve as teachers in children's Sunday School even when they've taught the week before and have missed worship more times than they would like

-those who unlock the doors, set-up the chairs and turn on the air and heat on Sunday morning before anyone notices such tasks have not been done

-those who go out of their way to make calls, send cards and visit those who are going through a difficult time

I give thanks this afternoon for all the acts of faithfulness that continue to hold the church together and pray for God to continue send us more glue of faithfulness. It's a legacy of conviction that leaves lasting gifts for others to reap!

I want all of us, but especially the Washington Plaza community to be known by its faithfulness. It is one of those "not of this world values" that makes us a Christian community instead of just a social gathering.