In our October 3rd gospel text, we read a story about how Jesus challenged the disciples to always forgive each other. Even if someone commits the same sin against them 7 times in a row on the same day, yet each time repents, they are to forgive them. The disciples themselves are incredulous. How in the world could they ever be able to do something like that? Their response is priceless, “O’ Lord give us faith!” They simple do not believe they (or anyone else for that matter) have it in them to forgive like this. Jesus reassures them that they only need a little faith (God will help with the rest). If they had as much faith as a little mustard seed, then they could do miraculous things.
Since we are not all farmers, I thought I would explain a little about just what can grow form a mustard seed. Mustard trees have been found in various locations throughout the world. Even though it’s one of the smallest seeds, the trees can grow up to 20 feet tall and 20 feet wide. The tree can grow in arid, dry climates and thrive even in clay or sandy soil. It can grow in hot, dry weather or cool, wet climates. If the tree is cut down again, it can grow back as quickly and as strongly as before. It is one of the most resilient and fast-growing plants in the world. All of this from a tiny seed!
Our faith is like that. It is resilient. It grows from just a little bit of trust and can dominant the world around us. But we must always remember that our faith in and of itself does not have any real power. Here is where we tend to get tripped up. We think we must have power (or confidence) in our belief. That is not true. The power comes from who we believe in not how much belief we have. Our faith is the little line that connects us to the real power source, Jesus. It is Jesus who wields the real power. We just need to believe a little, and the Holy Spirit jumps right into our situation, changing lives, bringing hope, and setting captives free.
Our Stewardship theme this year is “Living by Faith: How allowing our faith in God to guide our stewardship lifestyle can lead to abundant life.” We often view the very things that God has given us to steward (our money, possessions, talents, gifts, time, choice, etc…) in the same way the disciples responded to Jesus’ command to forgive one another. “Are you kidding me?” “There is no way I could give that up?” “I do not have the time.” “That is simply too big of an ask for me.” These are the common responses we tend to have (in our hearts if not in our words). When it comes to stewardship, we need to remember what Jesus told us. If we just have a little faith (like the size of a mustard seed) than these things will not gain control over us. Instead, God can use them to do great things. Learning to live with this kind of faith is what we will be exploring throughout our upcoming stewardship series. Join us for life changing worship each Sunday in October.