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Written by Gradye Parsons

Each month the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Moderator or Vice Moderator of the 220th General Assembly write a column of general interest for the church-at-large.

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September 1, 2012

September 2012 - A whole lot of trust

My neighborhood is a great place to be these days. We are reaping the benefits of dedicated home gardeners in our midst. The bounty of produce is amazing. But what amazes me even more is the level of trust that is displayed.

The gardeners put their crops of tomatoes on untended stands in front of their homes. You pick your tomatoes, weigh them on a nearby scale, and put your money in a metal box. I have never heard of anyone stealing either tomatoes or money. It is really kind of remarkable in our gated, alarmed, and locked-down world.

Speaking of trust, Question 26 in the new translation of Heidelberg Catechism reads this way:

Q. What do you believe when you say, “I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth”?

A. That the eternal Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who out of nothing created heaven and earth and everything in them, who still upholds and rules them by his eternal counsel and providence, is my God and Father because of Christ the Son. I trust God so much that I do not doubt he will provide whatever I need for body and soul, and will turn to my good whatever adversity he sends upon me in this sad world. God is able to do this because he is almighty God and desires to do this because he is a faithful Father.

That, folks, is a whole lot of trust. That level of trust is aspirational for most of us most of the time. It is not what flashes through our heads when we say the Apostle’s Creed on Sunday or are fighting the good fight to stay focused on the preacher’s words. It is not front-and-center as we fight to keep the list of what must be done out of our heads or think about who must be dealt with or why can’t we be better persons.

But learning to trust God is at the heart of learning to love God. Every advance we can make in that education moves the fear factor a little farther away.

Some day we, too, may be able to offer our own spiritual fruits to the world with a trusting heart.

Tags: gradye parsons, heidelberg catechism, monthly column, stated clerk, trust