Scripture Reading: Luke 17:5-10
The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’ The Lord replied, ‘If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, “Be uprooted and planted in the sea”, and it would obey you. –Luke 17:5-6
Is Jesus saying to his disciples you either have faith or you do not? Have you ever participated in a ropes course or something similar where you do some challenging, usually physical activities, with a group to increase group cohesion? Often one of the activities is to cross your arms over your chest and fall straight backward with the faith that your teammates will catch you. I am not an athlete. I am also afraid of heights and somewhat claustrophobic. I worked in a time when ropes courses were popular, and I had no choice but to participate. My goal when I was involved was simply to survive. I once suggested in a closing feedback period that having the group form a choir and sing a concert would result in the same sense of camaraderie. To me, it would have been a lot less dangerous and more fun. I got some pretty wicked looks from some of my team. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.
I am not sure faith can be learned; it must be real, unexplainable trust. I think the ability to faith (and yes I know faith is not a verb), is planted in us as a part of being made in the image of God. Whether it grows and bears fruit is determined by our recognizing its presence at some point and welcoming it into our lives. C. S. Lewis thought God chased him down until he finally acknowledged faith. The thing about faith is that we all most likely will find a big tree in our way at one time or another and it is really good to know the One who can help us deal with our life’s big trees when needed.
Prayer: God Almighty, sometimes our faith in you is colored by experiences in life that make it difficult for us to trust anyone and that ultimately may impact our relationship with you. Help us turn toward you rather than away from you so that the truth of our relationship with you enables our relationships with others. Amen.
All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.