So faith comes from what is heard,
and what is heard comes through the word of Christ.
Faith comes from what is heard
When a man says to his beloved – or a woman to her beloved – “I love you,” those words are not giving information like “We need more milk,” or “I’ll be working late,” or “The check engine light came on.” These are very different kinds of words, words whose purpose is to unite two hearts to one another ever more deeply. They are words whose purpose is to strengthen the ties between us, to deepen the bonds of our union. They create what the Biblical world refers to as faith: trust, allegiance, fidelity, and care.
Faith comes from what is heard. Trust, allegiance, fidelity to God (and to others) is created by the voice of God that is embodied in Christ Jesus. In Christ, God says, “I love you.” In the preaching of Christ, in the proclamation of Christ’s redeeming love, in the telling of the cross and resurrection, in the word of forgiveness, in the simple words “for you” that accompany the bread and wine, faith is created.
This is why the words are continually repeated, day after day, week after week, Sunday after Sunday – for the facts are known to the mind, but the heart must be continually captured. The bonds of our union, the relationship created by the word of Christ, needs to be ever renewed and deepened.