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Give us more faith! Luke 17:5-10 Pentecost + 20, 4th October 2016

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Luke 17:5-10

I struggle with this reading, because some  people use it to tell people if only you had enough faith you would be healed. I don’t think this is what it is all about.. It is found just after Jesus told the disciples that they had to forgive people 70 X 7 and if anyone asks for you forgiveness you have to grant it.. My response to being told that would be ” wow, give me more faith to be able to do this!”. Because when I have been hurt by another to forgive them is not an easy task, let alone to keep forgiving them.  Of course the other side of this is people use it to say you should stay in abusive relationship particularly  if they keep asking for forgiveness, I would suggest you move to the next verse about the widow and the judge before locking that idea in as well..

I do think the disciples were onto something, to love as Jesus loved is no easy task and sometimes we need to call on the strength of God to help us through.. We would like that faith to take away the struggle, to make it simple and easy but a tree is not removed  from the ground easily (well if my experience of trying to get the weeds out of my garden is anything to go by!)  The slave in the second part of the reading has already worked hard all day and is expected to come in and make a meal.. But this is the life we are called to.. it isn’t just about being loved and healed and hopeful, it is about changing the world and this goes against what comes easily. I too, like the disciples, beg God for more faith, the strength to do what I am called to do. I wonder if the faith of the mustard seed is not about making it easier but the promise of you only have to ask and God is there amongst you and with God’s presence with you, things that you think are impossible, or ridiculous or crazy can happen. Like being able to forgive people or to be patient for justice, or to journey through difficult and dark places.

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