He replied,“If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. (Lk 17: 6)
Pastor Bob, the former executive director of Koinonia in New York, was the master of dreams. He could convince you that every moment in life was full of the presence of God and he was offering you a unique opportunity to experience it. His stories were not lies. Pastor Bob believed it and you saw the world differently whenever you were around him. However, his dreams did not always present the most accurate representation of reality.
The two of us used to travel together visiting colleges in the Midwest to recruit summer staff. Pastor Bob knew these students were drawn to the allure of New York City. On a map, Koinonia looked extremely close to Manhattan. However, the camp was 1200 acres of thick forest. The program was a more intense wilderness experience than most camps in Colorado were offering. Pastor Bob was not always the most clear on this point.
One time a college student showed up to work at camp dressed in a business suit as if he we’re going to work at Rockefeller Center. He had no clue he was going to spend the next 8 weeks living in a tent, cooking his own food, swimming in a mountain lake and working with really difficult children. I looked at Pastor Bob and asked, “What did you tell him?”
This same thing is playing out between Jesus and the disciples in today’s reading. Throughout their time together, Jesus has painted dreams in the minds of the disciples. He has called them to see heaven on earth and the kingdom of God drawing near. The disciples are thinking Manhattan, but only seeing rain soaked tents. They ask or special powers, an increase in faith, to do and see these things. But Jesus tells them you have all the faith you need.
On this day of national tension, it’s a good thing to hear from Jesus you have all the faith you need. You have all the faith you need to be hopeful. You have all the faith you need to not hate your enemy. You have all the faith you need to transform the world around. Prayers for the nation and people are great. Posts providing insights are wonderful. But at the end of the day, the only person in control of how you respond is you. And you have enough faith to respond well.
Pr. Bob’s dreams may have gotten out of control sometimes, but he always had a way of showing you how chopping and hauling wood was a spiritual experience. He pushed those who did not feel capable to try. It produced a world of transformation.
Questions for the day: How many times have you heard this lesson and thought, “I need to increase my faith?” What do you feel you have enough faith to do today?
Click to Read: Luke 17: 5-10