GIVE US MORE FAITH
The message translation of the gospel from Luke goes like this:
“The Apostles came up and said to the Master, “give us more faith.” But the Master said, “You don’t need more faith. There is not ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, “Go jump in the lake,” and it would do it.”
We can all relate to the disciple’s request. It’s remarkable, isn’t it, that even those walking beside Jesus felt the need for more faith. Even the disciples, who watched Jesus walk on water, who saw him multiply the loaves and fishes, who were at his side as he dispelled sicknesses, asked for more faith. In Jesus response, he seems to be saying, “You’re asking for the wrong thing. The fix for the weakness that you sense in yourselves cannot be mended by more faith.” In his homily, Bob reminded us that faith is not a product of working harder. It is not a good that can be multiplied. It is, Bob suggested, something in us that can be active in the right ways. And when it is active in us in the right ways, it enables us to live in certain ways that would be impossible without faith.
Faith points us beyond ourselves. Faith causes our attention to shift, almost effortlessly off of ourselves and onto Christ. Faith is absent when we are looking at ourselves. When we focus on our own abilities, our own beliefs, our piety, or our own greatness or wretchedness, faith is not active in us. However, when we look at Christ, at His faithfulness and goodness, then we see ourselves rightly and we see others rightly as well. Faith looks toward Christ. The disciples, looking at themselves, thought that they needed more faith. “Master,” they say, looking down at their own faith or lack of it, “give us more faith.” Jesus draws their eyes up, off of themselves and onto himself.
When we look at Christ, we see the servant of all. We see in Christ the example of how we ought to live. When we “fix our eyes on him, the author and perfector of our faith” we begin to ask the right questions. We see that our faith is complete in Christ and we are empowered to live lives of service toward others.
We praise you, God, for the gift of new life in Loralei Akiko Inouya born to Jason and Andrea this week. We thank you that both she and mom are healthy. May you continue to bless this family and bless Loralei with good health. May she grow up to know you and also bring others to your saving grace.
We pray for all those affected by hurricane Matthew. We ask for needed supplies to come to those who have needs. We pray for safety for those still in the middle of the winds and flooding. For those who have lost love ones, we ask for your presence to attend them in this time.
We pray for Pastor Bob, Caleb, Michael Demaray, and Andy who will attend the denominational meetings this week in San Francisco. We also pray for Jihun Kang as he comes as a local pastor and guest. May your Spirit guide the discussions, decisions and fellowship at these meetings.
We continue to lift up in prayer the people of Columbia as they voted down the peace deal between the government and the FARC guerrillas. We thank you for peaceful voting last week and for the willingness for both sides to continue to negotiate. We ask that the churches in Columbia may be a beacons of hope and peace in their communities.
Lord In your mercy, hear our prayers.
- Community Dinners are the week of October 17-22. Community Dinners are an initiative with the goal of getting people to share a meal with folks from the grace community that they may not know. Simply choose which day works for you, and Caleb will tell you who is hosting your dinner! Simple as that! Simply fill out this form with dates that work for you.
- November 5th, Grace is hosting Dr. Kristen Deede Johnson for a lecture on faith in the public sphere. Kristen is a professor at Western Theological Seminary and has written about and worked in the space around faith and culture. This lecture will help us think critically about our political and public engagement for the good of Chicago. More info here.