Going on a Faith Hunt

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.

  “Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’?  Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’?  Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded?  So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’”  Luke 17: 5-10

How many of us would like to ask the question, “Increase our faith?”  Or in this instance, a demand. “Increase our faith!”  And in weeks like this, may we add a definitive ‘Please!’  Who wouldn’t want this?  And how does Jesus respond?

So let us enter back, and seek faith.  May we go on a quest and enter through the eyes of a child and play the game, “Going on a [bear] faith hunt.” 

Going on faith hunt. (Going on a faith hunt.)

Gonna catch a big one. (Gonna catch a big one)

I’m not afraid. (I’m not afraid)

Look over there! (Look over there!)

It’s A miracle! (It’s a miracle?)

Really. No way. (Really, no way.)

Can’t go around it. (Can’t go around it.)

Can’t go over it. (Can’t go over it.)

So let’s enter into it!  (So let’s enter it.)

Our first obstacle is miracles.  In our post-enlightenement and post-modernism, we are thankful for progress, thankful for the ability to think, and the many obstacles in front of us that open up endless possibilities.  But one obstacle that comes with enlightened, I want to know minds, is our skepticism of the miracle.  Yet miracles happen every day, all around us.  May we keenly embrace the miracle.  A miracle of being uprooted and transplanted.  And may we see them again through children’s eyes.  And may we help our children to continue to see miracles as they grow.)

Going on a faith hunt. (Going on a faith hunt.)

Gonna catch a big one. (Gonna catch a big one)

I’m not afraid! (I’m not afraid!)

Look over there! (Look over there!)
It’s a cave. . . (It’s a cave)
It’s cold in here. (It’s a cave)
I can’t see. (I can’t see.)

Our cave…abyss that makes it hard to see through this is ‘Worthless Slave’.  This one is a doozy.  And we can’t get around it.  Shouldn’t go around it.  So let’s enter into it.

Let’s enter into the text and ask what is going on? For Jesus, he is not promoting.  Slavery is not prescriptive, nor is he promoting a social order.  He is working within the realities in terms that would be understood.  By entering into this obstacle, we see that Jesus is talking to us about humility.  So let us continue our journey.

Going on a faith hunt. (Going on a faith hunt.)

Gonna catch a big one. (Gonna catch a big one.)

I’m not afraid. (I’m not afraid)

Coming to a tree. (Coming to a tree.)

Can’t go under it. (Can’t go under it)

Guess we’ll have to climb it. (Guess we’ll have to climb it)

Look around (Look around)

I am really big (I am really big)

The world is really small (The world is really small)

Do you see a big faith? (Do you see a big faith?)

No, not me. (No, not me)

So let’s keep moving. (Let’s keep moving)

 

Going on a faith hunt. (Going on a faith hunt.)

Gonna catch a big one. (Gonna catch a big one.)

I’m not afraid. (I’m not afraid)

 

I think I see something. (I think I see something.)

It has big green eyes. (It has big green eyes.)

A long fuzzy tail. (A long fuzzy tail.)

What is it ?

 

Wait?  It’s not a big scary faith!  (It’s not a big scary faith!)

It’s not big at all?  (It’s not big at all?)

In fact it’s quite small. (In fact it’s quite small.)

Exactly!  (Exactly!

Like a mustard seed.  (Like a mustard seed.)

They said to the Lord (They said to the Lord)

Increase our faith (Increase our faith)

You could say to the tree. (You could say to the tree.)

Be planted to the sea. (Be planted to the see)

You see, we come to this big and scary faith hunt, and what do we ask for?  We ask for a greater faith.  And what does Jesus offer instead?  A mustard seed.  He says instead, let the big guy take care of it.  We have it covered. 

For just prior to our big faith hunt, Jesus had been telling us that this was going to be a difficult journey.  Discipleship is not easy.  So in contrast to us wanting a big faith, Jesus us shows us contrast.  He helps in a beautiful way to encourage us, that faith is not ours to find, but that it is ours to receive and that it is God’s to give. 

Our faith is bigger, when we become smaller.  It says in John 3:30  He must increase, but I must decrease.  Our obstacles in our faith hunt come up when we separate our faith from the One whom we believe.  Faith is not increased through our efforts, but as the disciples get this one right…worried about what lies ahead, they request to Jesus, “Increase our faith.”  When the disciples ask for something big, Jesus replies instead by asking something small.  A faith that is trusting…a faith the size of a mustard seed.  And it is here that we have the humility to trust…in a big God.

It is here that we respond…  that we make a commitment knowing the road isn’t always going to be easy, but on that road, God is with us. 

And it is here that we meet this big God…humble, around the table.  It is here that we are equal, connected, and in relationship.

And it is here, at this table that we celebrate today baptism.  And in this big scary faith hunt…we too find the beauty in our baptism is that it is not about our baptism, it is not Khoi’s or Anthony’s baptism, but it is that we participate in the one baptism that began in the river Jordan, that walked a long road to Jerusalem, a road that led to a cross.  This one baptism is our sharing in the submersion in the Jordan, the baptism of our Lord’s blood, the baptism of going down into a tomb, and a baptism that rose again from the Jordan and rose again from the grave. 

This baptism is a sign and seal of our faith.  It is a gift, and one that we give thanks for sharing in, for living in, for participating in, and upholding one another in. 

We have this font today that gives us living water, and this table that nurtures us with the bread of life.  May we say together for our road ahead, Lord, increase our faith.

Amen. 

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