An “About face!” command reverses the direction of movement. Faith is an “about face” that is more modelled than commanded. It is usually an about face when we choose models of faith to guide us. Hebrews 11 is chock full of faith models-with the #1 being Jesus himself, “who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross.” (verse 2) Enduring (instead of avoiding) suffering is an “about faith” for me: it helps to remember the coming joy. Communion reminds me. “Do this in remembrance of me” joins command and model and joy and cross in communion with the Lord.
Faith transforms the relationship between model and modeller. Those models of faith mentioned, despite their heroics, are not perfect “apart from us” (verse 40) who follow Jesus today. What do we do that is so heroic? What makes us worthy models? Maybe it’s just the “about face” that becomes evident when our lives are “about faith”-evident in the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection into new life every day, the victories over cynicism, despair, hatred and fear which only love can celebrate.
Lord, I am an empty vessel needing to be filled. Lord, fill it. I am weak in faith; strengthen me. I am cold in love; warm me that my love may go out to my neighbour. Amen. — RB