At my congregation, Trinity, Creston Iowa we are currently seeing a huge drop off in worship and Sunday school attendance among the young. Many folks in the congregation think that there are no young people, but that isn’t the case. They aren’t in church. They’re parents aren’t in church. Rev. Cwirla’s blog post was about falling away from faith. It was written in response to the death of Steve Jobs. Steve was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Later in life he apparently dabbled in Buddhism and the like. The post isn’t so much about Mr. Jobs as it is about the danger of falling away from faith. How it happens not “with a shaking fist” but quietly, without notice.
One day the dimly flickering light of faith simply goes out, like a little candle in a puff of wind, and you don’t even notice. Faith doesn’t die with a shout of protest or a clenched fist of defiance. It takes faith to be angry with God. When faith dies, it simply withers away like a dry untended plant.
The only protection against a dying faith is God’s work through His Word and Sacraments.
I think falling from faith happens slowly and imperceptibly. It begins with that Sunday soccer game or basketball tournament, the boy scout event, the part-time job that forces you to work on Sunday morning and then the next time, you volunteer. The late night party on Saturday that leaves you too tired to get up for church. The hectic calendar. Family concerns, the business, the house, the investments.
All these things seem important. After all, church happens every week. Some of these things are unrepeatable. We can always pick it up next Sunday. It is Satan’s lie. The consistent feeding of faith is necessary. Faith is either dying or growing. It is either nourished by the Word or it goes hungry. It is either fed by The Lord’s Supper or it is starving.
God has provided the means for faith to grow. We are so blessed to have such easy access. So much so that we seem to take it for granted. Don’t.