|Theme:||Faith in God - Proper 22 (27) Yr. C|
|Object:||Mustard seeds or a mustard seed necklace.|
|Scripture:||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 (NIV)|
Have you ever seen a mustard seed? The mustard seed is one of the smallest of all seeds. Here, let me show you one. The mustard seed is so small that you can hardly even see it. Some people wear a necklace that has one of these tiny mustard seeds inside of a piece of glass. They wear this necklace as a symbol of their faith in God. Do you know why the mustard seed is considered a symbol of faith?
One day, Jesus was talking to his disciples when one of them turned to him and said, "Lord, increase our faith." Jesus answered and said, "If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it will obey you." Can you imagine what it would be like to have that kind of faith?
I heard a story about a man who read this verse in the Bible and decided to put it to the test. There was a large tree in his front yard, so he went out to that tree and said, "In the morning when I wake up from my sleep, I want you to be gone." That night the man went to bed. When he woke up the next morning, he went to front door, opened it, and looked out into his front yard. "Just as I thought!" the man said. "It's still there."
Well, first of all, the man didn't have mustard seed sized faith, did he? In fact, he didn't have any faith at all. When he told the tree to be moved, he never expected it to happen. In the second place, I think that the man misunderstood what Jesus was trying to teach his disciples.
Jesus was not suggesting that you and I go around trying to move trees just to prove that we have faith. What Jesus was trying to teach his disciples -- and what he wants you and me to learn -- is that it doesn't take a great faith to produce great results. Why? Because the results don't depend on us, they depend on God. If the results depended on the size of our faith, I have no doubt that we would probably go around bragging about our great faith.
What have we learned about faith today? This is what I hope we have learned: Don't ask for a great faith so that we can do great things -- ask for faith the size of a mustard seed so that we can see God do great things!
Dear Father, we ask for a mustard seed sized faith. Help us to believe and never doubt your mighty power. Amen.
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