March 2010: Faith of Many Dimensions
Faith apart form works is dead. James 2:26
Many groups travel from the US to another part of the world on a mission trip. Some of these groups plan their trip with Global Ministries’ People to People Pilgrimages office in order to maximize their spiritual experience as well. One group from Atlanta, GA recently traveled to India. One pilgrim wrote:
“One month ago today we were ringing in the New Year sitting half way around the world in the Christian Church of Mungeli, India. Even though the words spoken were unrecognizable Hindi, there were some comfortably familiar sights as I gazed around the sanctuary: wooden pews filled with worshippers, Bibles and hymnals in their hands; the open communion table; a temperamental sound system that worked intermittently, and the cadence of the Lord’s Prayer – recognizable even when spoken in a language foreign to my ears. My eyes came to rest upon the wooden cross on the table and I reflected on how this symbol of Christianity had taken on a new meaning for me recently. In learning of the concepts of vertical and horizontal faith, I have come to look at the cross as a symbolic representation of these two dimensions of faith.
VERTICAL faith is about one’s relationship with God; an awareness of God’s teachings and his presence in your life.
HORIZONTAL faith is about sharing those vertical discoveries; serving outside our comfort zone; reaching out and touching others with God’s love.
TRUE faith needs both components: our love and action (the horizontal piece) is grounded in the love we receive from God (which we discover through the vertical piece). Without the horizontal piece, there is a disconnect between faith and life.
For me, the cross has become a beautiful, visual depiction of vertical and horizontal faith.”
Missionary Anil Henry shared this story of an individual with a mission group. He works with the Synodical Board of Health Services of the Church of North India. He serves as Acting Director at Christian Hospital, Mungeli along with his wife, Teresa, as Senior Medical Officer.