October 6

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.’” vss. 5-6

Jesus’ response to the apostles’ demand that he increase their faith is enigmatic at best. It seems that he’s telling them that faith is not quantifiable. We can’t have variable amounts! Either we have faith, or we don’t! We’re not used to thinking that way. Like the apostles we often wish that our convictions about God were stronger so that we didn’t have to worry about stuff so much. We may even feel that our faith has eroded through the years and that it’s on the verge of disappearing altogether. But Jesus seems to be saying that what little faith we have is enough, even if it’s the size of a mustard seed. And he’s got a point! After all, what really counts in our relationship with God is the faith God has in us, and that never runs out. Over and over again God keeps coming to us with unconditional offers of mercy and forgiveness–grace upon grace is poured into our lives–and the strength of our faith is not the deciding factor. Of course it would be horrible if our faith disappeared altogether–but as long as that mustard seed sized trust remains, we’ll stay in touch with the love God has for us–and in the long run, that’s much more important than anything else.

Thought for the Day: When have I come closest to losing my faith?

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