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The 27th Sunday of O.T.

October 6th, 2012

 

A Season Of Faith

 

 

Gospel Ė Luke 17:5 - 8

 

The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith."
The Lord replied,
"If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you would say to this mulberry tree,
'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,í and it would obey you.

"Who among you would say to your servant
who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,
'Come here immediately and take your place at table'?
Would he not rather say to him,
'Prepare something for me to eat.
Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You may eat and drink when I am finished'?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you.
When you have done all you have been commanded,
say, 'We are unprofitable servants;
we have done what we were obliged to do.'"

 

Imagine a world in which no one had faith in anything. What would it be like? Could such a world function? We seldom reflect on the fact that so much that happens in our lives depends on our having faith, most often in ourselves more so than others. If no one had faith in government and it's leaders, and that seems to be the case in this country of ours today, at least a great percentage don't have it, in doctors, in airline pilots, in ministers, in schools, in parents, in spouses, in employers, and friends, then life as we know it just might grind to a halt. Our lives could then be characterized by cynicism, despair, and anarchy. Needless to say a world in which no one had faith in anything could possibly be a useless world.

 

But suppose we narrow the question down a bit and ask, "What would a world be like in which no one had religious faith?  The answer to that question might seem more difficult.  Would it really make all that much difference if no one had any religious faith?  Life would surely go on.  It's just that there'd be no churches, or temples, or synagogues, or other places of worship.  There would be no religious ceremonies, no believing communities, no prayer communities.  There would be no holy book like the bible, no holy people, no notion of holiness at all.  And if that were the case, then how could there be an appreciation of life, of a search, of a quest, of a dream?  No appreciation of life as a gift from God.  These things are so much a part of who and what we are, that a world without religious faith would be a world we would hardly recognize as human.

 

Strangely enough, perhaps we don't often think of faith in that way.  We think of it as a very private thing; something I have as an individual; something I must preserve in; something a bit precarious, something I could loose if I am not careful.  And so we have a lot of sympathy with the apostles in today's reading when they make that appeal to Jesus, "Increase our faith."

 

Perhaps the Lord's reply seems very odd.  We almost get the impression that he thinks faith is linked unlikely wonders, to our everyday ordinary lives.  He replied, "Where your faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, 'be rooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you."  You see my friends, the faith that Jesus is talking about is not the kind of thing that can be measured.  It is not the kind of thing we can have more or less of.  Faith is a way of being; a way of seeing; a way of journeying.  It's not something we have, but rather it's something that we are caught up in, itís something that we live.  Of course, there is a private and personal dimension of faith.  But essentially we're not isolated individuals who have to grit our teeth and hang on to our faith through thick or thin.  Faith is also a gift that embodies trust and prayer; a gift passed on or shared. 

 

We are part of a community of believers, a community who tries to lead a life of faith and support for each other in that life of faith.  That community is not confined to folks we worship with at church, not confined to family and friends that we meet whenever or are visible to us.  As far as I am concerned, that community has been broadened by the access to the internet to include so many others from just about anyplace, folks who share and give their hearts to others as dear friends.  I believe that to be a special gift from God to be able to be in touch with so many others who are living the morals and values that I have myself try to live, and to be able to be a part of so many other's life and faith journey.  What a tremendous blessing to be able to grow in faith, in the love of our Lord with them.

 

And we donít even think about a measure of that faith, we just live it and are immersed in it.  Yes, us broken and pitiful people who are sinners, who donít know all of the answers to all of the problems of life, who so often question God about one thing or another, trying to figure out the going-onís in our own lives as well as that of each other.  Perhaps that is what Jesus is trying to tell us in this gospel reading.  We donít need to understand everything, because we cannot understand everything anyway, most certainly the mindset of God.  Take what we have and go with it, live that out, but live it out with each other.

 

One of the most amazing understandings concerning God came to light to me quite recently that could possibly give us a better notion about faith as it pertains to our understanding of Jesus and the lessons in life that we can learn.  I realize of course that the greatest happening in history of Christianity was the suffering, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.  And that greatest happening came about as a result of his great suffering, his pain, both physical and mental.  If our salvation and our gift of eternal life with God, came as a result of pain and suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ,  then there must me other lessons for us to learn as a result of our own pain and suffering, as well as others, and the death of our loved ones and friends, that should lead us to a greater understanding of the ďfaithĒ that we are talking about.

 

As followers of Christ everything we do is informed by faith.  Faith surrounds us, faith carries us, faith is our way of being.  And we manifest our faith in simple and obvious ways, by prayer, by reaching out to one another in the kind of love that Jesus reaches out to us with; by compassion, understanding, and by sharing the gifts that God has blessed us with, by sharing those gifts freely.  It might not seem so very spectacular to us.  It's certainly has nothing do with performing amazing feasts.  But faith really does change the world.  A world without religious faith, and even more so, personal faith, would be an impoverished world, for it would be a world in which the deepest aspirations of the human heart could have no place.

 

Wishing you a wonderful week ahead, praying for the needs of our country, and those who are suffering in any way.  Yours in Christ . . .

 

 

© Deacon Steve A. Politte
October 6th, 2012

 

 

 

 

 

Follow The Little Children

 

Follow the little children and watch them play,
With no worries or fears throughout their day.


Share in their laughter, enjoy the smiles on their face,
Seeing through them Godís loving grace.


Take time to listen they have so much to say,
Enjoy all their stories let them take your worries away.


Reach out and touch them holding them close to you,
Theses are the things that God wants you to do.


Return all of their kisses, seeing how much they love,
Trusting and caring like their Father above.


Pick them up when they fall down sometimes when they play,
And bow your head and share with them, every time that they pray.


Believe like they do, let them teach you how to trust,
Never once have they doubted, that Jesus loves them so much.


Follow the little children there is so much to see,
And you will understand why God said, let the little children come to me.



Written By Eva Dimel
Inspired By God
December 21st 2010

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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