Posted by: Melissa Bane Sevier | September 30, 2019

The mustard seed of sacrament

Well, what a slow news week we’ve had. Yaaawwwnn.

Impeachment investigation in the US. Brexit looming in the UK. More stories of racism and harassment and evil and harm than we can count.

It can be difficult to have faith when things seem to be falling apart. The emotional and political climate in which we live is not conducive to faith of any kind.

That’s always been the case. Whenever we think we have it worse than previous generations, we just need to look at history to see that the people of every age have lived through hard times.

Jesus is speaking to folks whose political hopes are weak because of the strength of an empire, and whose personal futures are always in peril relating to poverty and social strictures and structures.

So they ask him for help:

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. [from Luke 17]

They are looking for something to increase their faith, and Jesus reminds them that they already have enough faith. [See my blog about that Greek syntax here.]

Where does that faith come from? Lots of places. From within and from outside us, from solitude and community, from worship.

This week many Christians mark World Communion Sunday. It’s a time when we attempt to pull away from our differences and draw together in our unity. We honor the poor, the refugee, the oppressed. We worship with our friends and pray for our enemies. We long for a future when the world will reflect the values of Jesus more purely. We hope. We weep. We love.

We return.

We return to a world and a life that are deeply imperfect and where our faith is tested. Yet, we have enough. There is a tiny seed of faith that has been nourished and that may grow.

It may even grow enough to uproot the towering trees of injustice and plant them in salt water so that their influence shrinks and, though they are still visible, their power will be negligible.

Faith is just a seed. But, oh my, what strength it draws from its environment, and what potential it contains in that tiny form.

© Melissa Bane Sevier, 2019

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