the 17th sunday after pentecost
the PRAYER. . .
Benevolent, merciful God: When we are empty, fill us. When we are weak in faith, strengthen us. When we are cold in love, warm us, that with fervor we may love our neighbors and serve them for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
the READING. . .
The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”
the DEVOTION. . .
I guess, maybe, it’s more a human thing than I thought … thinking that bigger is better. We count and measure and weigh everything. Ounces and pounds. Seconds and minutes. Cents and dollars. At school. At work. Even here in the church. So much of what we think about ourselves as god’s people is rooted in quantities. Membership. Attendance. Offerings. And bigger is always better. Now, this week, the apostles ask Jesus to increase faith, as well …
But Jesus tells them, in a roundabout way, it just doesn’t work that way. Faith isn’t a quantity. For that matter, it’s not a quality, either. You have it or you don’t. And when you have it, amazing things happen. What you do to mulberry trees doesn’t matter. Bottom line, when you believe, gospel is proclaimed to the poor! Release is proclaimed to the prisoners! Sight is proclaimed to the blind! But it’s not the believing itself that makes it happen. It’s who – it’s what – we believe in!
Bob Barndt, pastor