Show a one dollar bill to your audience…
Question: What is it?
Possible Answers: A Dollar, Paper Money, etc.
Question: What is it worth?
Possible Answers: One Dollar!
Question: But it is just a piece of paper with some printing on it! Why is it worth a Dollar?
…Your audience will (hopefully) get stumped on this one, because there is really no reason why a dollar is worth a dollar other than because everyone agrees that it is worth a dollar.
Keep on poking holes in suggested answers until your audience either runs out of steam or you feel it is time to move on… (e.g.: “…because the government says it’s worth that!” – Really? But who gave the government the right to say that? Or, “…because it is backed up with Gold owned by the government!” – Actually no, because the U.S. government abandoned the gold standard in 1976. And so on…)
The ultimate answer is that a dollar is worth a dollar because we believe it to be worth one dollar, and we have faith that everyone else believes it is worth one dollar.
That is the difference between “faith” with a small “f” and “Faith” with a capital “F”: our individual faith can be a good thing, but our individual faith can do little on its own. If we were to create our own currency, it would have no value and could do nothing, because no one else would have faith in it. On the other hand, because we all have faith in the dollar, great things are possible: our entire economy and socio-political system are built upon that faith. We could not live in our home, attend school, shop at a store, buy a gift for a parent, or go to the moon without our faith in the Dollar.
So, when our faith is combined with the faith of many others, we get “Faith” with a capital F – and it is that Faith that makes a difference: moving mountains, or changing lives. With Faith, what seemed impossible becomes possible. This is why Christianity – like all major faiths, is a communal faith and not an individual one: because we are called to work together to make a difference in the world.
Scripture reference: Hebrews 11.
Copyright (c) 2016, Allen Vander Meulen III, all rights reserved. I’m happy to share my writings with you, as long as proper credit for my authorship is given. (e.g., via a credit that gives my full name and/or provides a link back to this site – or just email me and ask!)