My brain has been trying to get a definitive hold on exactly why faith matters. Obviously there are millions of people for whom the concept of “faith” does not matter at all, and in this country that number is growing. For many younger adults, faith is not related to any particular religion and is not a matter of “belief” in a god or theological system. It’s just sort of a spiritual thing. An example is the couple I was talking to about their coming wedding. They said, “We don’t want any prayers or mention of God. We’re spiritual, but not religious.” I replied, “Then you probably don’t want any mention of what we hope for your future or any mention of love.” They had no understanding of “God is love,” or prayer as hope. And they had no concept of what “faith” means. No wonder it didn’t matter to them.
St. Paul, in that wonderful passage from Corinthians 13 that is often read at weddings, concludes with “And now, faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Faith is a matter of trust, trusting in the Creator of the universe, the stuff we are made of. Faith is trusting in the traditional wisdom of ethics (what is good), and in each other. Moreover, faith is a matter of trusting our love and our lover (be it God, our children, or the object of our infatuation.) I can’t imagine separating faith from love and hope, for to me, faith matters because it is the trust that gives meaning to love and hope, that is, to all relationships and all dreams and purpose. Faith matters in marriage, in society, in families, in being a neighbor and in planning our future. Faith matters because you, your loved ones and life itself matter.
Rev. Ned Edwards, Author