Faith is not the Force.
In our gospel reading this Sunday we are going to hear Jesus say to his apostles “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 17:6). He says similar things elsewhere about the power of faith to move mountains. For a long time, I took this to mean that faith must be like “the force” in the Star Wars universe. If I could just concentrate on believing enough, if I had enough faith I could do anything. I’ve come to realize more recently that that is a complete misunderstanding of what Jesus is saying.
Jesus’ point is in fact that it takes very little faith for great things to be accomplished. The power of faith is not dependant on the quantity of one’s faith but on what or who we place our faith. By equating faith with something like “the force” I was treating faith as something I need more of in order to do more.
This is exactly the problem Jesus is trying respond to in our gospel this week. In the lead up to this week’s gospel Jesus makes very clear some of the challenges that his apostles will have to face as they follow him. In response they say “Increase our faith!” as if that will make the challenges ahead more bearable.
As we’ll see on Sunday, however, Jesus’ response to this request is to completely change the subject from the topic of faith to the topic of obedience. In doing this I believe Jesus is trying to help all those who would place their faith in him see that faith is not some kind of mystical super power granting us super human abilities according to the quantity or even the quality of our faith. What faith does is plug us into the one who can do all things, or as Jesus describes it elsewhere, the one who has been “given all authority in heaven and earth”. If this is true than faith, in more than one way, becomes a matter of obedience, and it may even be that it is in the obedience of those who place their faith in Jesus that the power of faith is most often revealed.
I look forward to exploring this with you more on Sunday.
We need your help!
- Readers 9:00 & 10:30
- Greeters 9:00 & 10:30
- A/V – Audio &/or Slideshow
Please prayerfully consider if you can help even for one week.
There is a schedule posted in the Communications Center
High school students and young adults!
Come and eat supper at my place in Apohaqui this Sunday Oct. 2. We will be meeting at 6:30 at 2983 route 121. We will hangout, eat some food, and watch a couple short videos to get excited for young adult alpha starting Oct. 16th! All are welcome, please let me know if you are coming or have any questions or concerns. I can be reached at 639-2026.
Rev. Dan McMullen
Missioner/Deacon, Parishes of Upper Kennebecasis and Hampton
Advent Messy Church
- Advent wreath making
- Ornament making
- Cookie decorating
- Card making
- Board games