My go to line while teaching theology is, “to bring us closer to God.” It is the purpose of prayer, religion, and faith in general. I also teach that our purpose in life is to be in relationship with God, one another, ourselves, and creation. God wants us to live and love in community. What I have learned recently, through my continued education, is how this depth of relationship and faith leads us to live a life for others, with others, in pursuit of bringing justice, love, and peace to better our world.
It is easy to believe, within our cultural mindset, that the purpose of faith is to have a deeper relationship with God. That is extremely important but that is not where it should end. That relationship with God becomes the reason we love to the depth of our soul, to give all that we have, to live as Jesus Christ lived on this earth. To live in community loving every single person like we love God. As Mother Theresa said, and I am paraphrasing, seeking the face of God in everyone, all the time. We are to love each person exactly where they are with our entire heart and soul.
If we develop a deep and abiding relationship with God and keep it to ourselves, sharing none of it with others, then we have failed God. Our purpose is to bring God to others. My purpose is to bring God to others. God is love. I am to bring love to others. I am to guide others to a deeper relationship with God so they in turn will love every person with a depth that our culture rarely witnesses. If we all do this we can and will change the world.
Our faith and relationship with God cannot be kept in the recesses of our hearts, guarded privately. What we are given by God; the love, forgiveness, acceptance, and embrace, must be given to the rest of the world. This is what God wants for all of humanity, that we may live in peace, with justice, and love for one another. The deeper you know God the more difficult it becomes to keep that love to yourself. So don’t keep it to yourself. Share God’s love with everyone you meet by truly living your faith. I think that’s what living faith is all about.