Look at the proud! Their spirit is not right in them, but the righteous live by their faith. (Habakkuk 2:4 NRSV)
In a picturesque Italian town stands a beautiful cathedral that was built in the fourteenth century. Tourists visit this beautiful old cathedral and marvel at its art and treasures. You might think that such a beautiful cathedral would be filled with worshipers each Sunday. The truth is that when the new pastor arrived in that town he was faced with an empty building. Very few people in the little town worshiped in the grand old cathedral.

The church was an artistic gem. Spiritually, though, it was dead. Thus the pastor made a very dramatic decision. He decided to move the congregation out of that magnificent edifice. Together he and some of the townspeople built a simple cinder block church a short distance from the beautiful fourteenth century cathedral. The only word to describe this new church is ugly. It certainly is no match for the beautiful cathedral. Yet on Sundays it is packed with people, young and old. This new church is a thriving, worshiping community, with a contagious and lively faith. The pastor offers an explanation: The beautiful fourteenth century church is not theirs; it belongs to another era!

For faith to make any difference in our lives it must first be our own.

Dear Jesus, thank you for the faith you have given me. May I use it to bring us closer together. Amen.

Ron Newhouse

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