I was reflecting on my days as a volunteer leader of Cub Scouts when my sons were young. The phrase “KISS” (Keep It Simple, Stupid) came to mind. That is, don’t make things more complicated than they need to be.
I began to think, what if we were to apply the KISS principle to matters of faith?
I think historically the Church (notice the big “C”), for whatever reason, has made faith complicated. We try to interpret what the Bible “really says” and if Jesus meant “this or that.” As I said, we try to complicate things more than they need to be.
Just for a moment, I want you to imagine with me what faith would look like if were to apply the KISS principle. Faith, at its most basic, is that God loves you, no matter what.
For instance, if you are going through a hard time in your life, you might ask questions like: “Where is God?” or “Why is this happening to me?”
The answer is: “God loves you, no matter what.”
We try to complicate things, for instance, with: we must ask for forgiveness or do penance for our sins. I do not disagree with either of those. However, we must be clear that we must do those things for ourselves and not God’s love.
God’s love is unconditional. There is nothing we can do to change that. We have placed human constructs on God’s love. They are human constructs — not God’s. God cannot be put in a box or conform to our imaginations.
Rather, God’s love is so vast and abundant that we can only be in awe of it. I understand that we have different traditions and understandings of how we are to worship and acknowledge God’s love.
I have often said, “We all drink from the same well but we use different cups.”
To extend this metaphor, it is the well on which we all can agree and that well is God’s love. That is the KISS. principle at work in our faith journeys.
For those of you who are searching, know this — God loves you no matter what.
For those of you who do not know God or who do not believe — God loves you no matter what.
As a nation, we have ejected God from our schools by banning prayer, forbade the posting of the Ten Commandments in government buildings — all to be politically correct or to try not to offend anyone. This is “lawyer-speak” for complicating things. Let’s start uncomplicating things and return to acknowledging God’s love.
Peace be with you.
Rev. Jerry Amiri, senior pastor
Salem UCC, Alhambra