I have a deep seated theology about belief vs. faith.
Belief is individual, Faith is shared–hence community of faith.
Faith is the vast array of beliefs, doubts, worries and hopes that are held in community.
When a disciple asks to increase faith, the disciples says, “Increase our faith”
The disciples feel like they don’t have enough, enough hope or energy or whatever to get the job done.
And Jesus says, you–plural all of you–all you need is the faith of a mustard seed, and you can do all the moving you need to do.
5The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6The 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. 7“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’? 8Would 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’? 9Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? 10So 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!’”’
You know, I have never seen the thriving church. I’m 33 and I have never seen the church the way it used to be.
But I have seen the church. I’ve seen it in my small church which struggled to find a new pastor, which put in thousands of hrs to sit with and reconnect with the local community.
I have seen it in the four years we could count on, the 6 years we’ve had and the 2 more (at least) that are going to happen.
There Jesus is, in a group of people who don’t know if they have enough resources.
Jesus doesn’t say don’t worry….I love this about Jesus, Jesus never says don’t worry. Because God knows to worry is to be human. We are great at worrying, we are super champs at worrying, and its how we deal with
Jesus doesn’t say don’t worry, he doesn’t dismiss the worry or tell us its stupid. Instead Jesus says “I have good news, the good news is that all the faith any and all of you need is the size of a mustard seed. I can work with that amount of faith”
The implications being this faith is enough to grow.
And when we have those moments of faith, the hymn or the prayer, the sermon snippet or the conversation in the parking lot. We are church.
I have seen the church–come see it with me….