“Increase our faith!” Have you ever prayed that prayer? I suspect that many of us have—but Jesus’ response is rather peculiar. Jesus says that the size of your faith doesn’t matter—your problem is not a lack of faith. It only takes a mustard-seed sized faith to uproot a tree and plant it in the sea. (Some gardeners would like to take this passage literally—but Jesus is speaking poetically.) A little faith can make big things happen!
Have you ever played that game with Jesus? “Jesus, if I just had a little more faith I would be a better Christian. If I had more faith I would be more involved in mission projects and more committed to the work of the church. If I had a little more faith I would tell more people about you and invite more people to come to church. So, Jesus, give me more faith!”
Is it possible that we are not really praying for faith at all? Could it be that what we’re really praying for is for God to make things easier for us? Perhaps what we really want is for God to do some finger snapping or nose wiggling to make it happen for us? “God, just change me…or change the situation. Or God, why don’t you just take care of this yourself?”
The central problem for the disciples and for us is not a lack of faith. The problem is that we don’t use what we have. We have more faith than we realize. If we have ever turned on a light switch, filled our car with gas, mailed a letter, flown in an airplane, ridden in an elevator, walked over a bridge—believe me, we have faith. Faith is a gift from God to help us make a difference in this world. So, peruse this week’s passage and pursue some new perspectives. See you ‘round the Table.