Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost – October 2, 2022

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A little faith goes a long way is Jesus’ point in the gospel. A mustard seed’s-worth of faith has miraculous potential. The patience, tenacity, and endurance required for the life of faith are the blessings received in holy baptism, holy communion, and the word read and proclaimed in this assembly. Anticipate them. Receive them with thanksgiving.

 

Readings

            Wicked surround the righteous; wait for the Lord

            Commit your way to the Lord; put your trust in the Lord. 

            Guard the treasure entrusted to you: faith and love in Christ

            Faith the size of a mustard seed

 

Prayer of the Day

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.  Amen

 

GOSPEL MESSAGE - Less Is More

“Increase our faith!” cry the disciples in today’s gospel (Luke 17:5). Maybe you have come to worship with the same hope. Our world and lives are full of challenges that constantly test our limits—the limits of our patience, our love, our hope, our capacity for justice and mercy. Wouldn’t it be nice to have as much of those things as possible? Wouldn’t that allow us to fix this broken world?

 

But Jesus’ response is exactly the opposite—when it comes to faith, he tells his disciples to think small—like the size of a minuscule mustard seed. While that may not sound like enough, it will be if we can let go of thinking we are in control. The power of faith, Jesus tells us, does not come from the quantity we possess; it comes from placing our trust in the one who possesses everything.

 

If our trust shifts from God to ourselves, no amount of faith will ever be enough. God did not make us to be masters, so when we place ourselves in that position, anxiety and overwhelm are sure to follow. Instead, Christ calls us to be servants of an abundance that we will never possess or control. This is the abundance of God’s kingdom—where faith, hope, and love exist without limit. Even the smallest amount of trust in this abundance is enough because it pins our hearts and hopes on the one who is truly in control.

 

The things this assembly of faith-seekers will offer one another today are small, but with just a mustard seed of faith they can be so much more. Here, simple human words can become the vessels of the divine Word, bringing healing and transformation to our lives. Here, drops of water can wash away sins and create heirs to God’s kingdom. Here, bread and wine can become the food that offers us life everlasting through Christ’s victory over death.

 

From sundaysandseasons.com.  Copyright © 2022 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved.

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