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If you’re a fan of Stephen Colbert, you probably know he’s a strong man of faith. What you may not know is that there was a time when he was convinced of his own atheism after losing confidence in God.
“The Late Show” host isn’t uncomfortable talking about his Catholic faith. He grew up in the Catholic Church. While he was taught to respect the church, he was never afraid to challenge and question church doctrine which may come as no surprise given he is one who challenges things that don’t make sense.
In a recent conversation on the talk show “Faith in Focus,” Colbert shared that there was a time when his faith was weak.
He shared how he struggled with doubt in his younger years. He said to the show’s host, Rev. James Martin who is also a Jesuit priest and editor at large at the Catholic magazine America that he was “convinced of my own atheism” in his early 20s.
“I had lost my faith in God, to my own great grief,” Colbert said. “I was sort of convinced that I had been wrong all this time, that I had been taught something that wasn’t true.”
Then something happened that changed everything.
Following graduating from Northwestern University in 1986, Colbert joined a comedy troupe. At the time he was 22. One cold night, he was walking through the streets of Chicago when a stranger handed him a pocket Bible. In it, there were Scriptures including the books of Psalms and Proverbs.
What stands out in his memory is that the pages were frozen stiff, so hard that he had to crack the book open. In the pocket Bible was an index listing verses to read based on the emotions someone might be experiencing.
He was feeling anxious at the time, so he turned to the Bible verses associated with anxiety.
This particular passage was on Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? … Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” (Matthew 6:25)
He felt those words were speaking to him directly. Immediately after reading them, he felt lightened, Colbert shared.
“I stood on the street corner in the cold and read the sermon,” he said. “And my life has never been the same.”
Now he tries to carry a copy of the Bible with him wherever he goes.
In a GQ interview, he reflected on tragedies in his life and explained how his faith shapes his outlook, saying, “I am here to know God, love God and serve God.” Can you believe he also teaches Sunday School?
The Word of God, the Bible–Old and New Testaments. It is what we have of God. Actually we have more than the Word but I am just focusing on the Word of God right now.
We are so blessed these days to have devices to deliver to us the Word of God and other tools to help us understand the Word of God more clearly and more accurately. I use as many of them as I want to read and study the Word of God–laptop, Kindle, cell phone and more if I have them. Sometimes, however, I want to hold the Word of God.
Yes, in ancient times the Word was temporarily held in the minds of men and spoken to others. However, God’s design is that His Word be retained in written form. This insures His message as He gave it originally is retained.
I still love holding the Word of God in my hand and reading from the physical copy. I desired that today and it was satisfying. The written Word allows us to notate much more easily in my view and when I retrace I am reminded and I remember what I have been taught by Him in the past.
That is His Big objective — that we remember Him, His truth, His leading us through all of life. Our souls need Him–we need to remember His truths and His work in us. Thus we grow and mature and become more conformed in Christlikeness.
Read the Word of God today! Through the Word we are changed in the ways that pleases our Lord Jesus.
“God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing ye dismay.
Remember Christ the Savior was born on Christmas Day.
To save us all from Satan’s pow’r when we were gone astray.”
I said to My gentlemen this morning: “May we be His gentlemen today!”
I just read this morning of King David–in the line of our Messiah.
King David sinned greatly against himself, against his Nation, against a woman and against His Lord. He awareness was clouded, His spirit was numb, His soul was distorted. He was for all practical purposes lost. Satan’s pow’r was reigning in his life and domain.
It took a prophet to make him sober, see the gravity and depth of which he had fallen so quickly. He did repent and also paid dearly in consequences.
Satan’s pow’r roams now and He goal is to take you down–even in this beautiful season. Guard your heart with all diligence because he is on the prowl.
Pray! Claim the protection of the Lord and His Spirit. Do not fear! The Lord makes a way forward when our circumstances says to us there is no way. You will move forward in His care.
Christmas Eve gifts to you!
Simple test but point well taken…