"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
We come to the end of Diocesan Convention here in Alaska. It has been a good deal of hard work and a great celebration. There are so many faithful people gathered in one place. So many of those gathered have hard struggles in order to serve God. Village life in place like Arctic Circle are tough and the challenges to doing ministry are many. And yet all gathered are so faithful. Folks can get tired and frustrated by the setbacks, and yet I am so grateful for their witness and example.
The disciples are facing challenges in their ministry. Their enthusiasm has waned as the real life challenges have overwhelmed them. They come to Jesus asking for more faith and Jesus challenges them to employ the faith they have. They have been given everything they need but are loosing heart and loosing vision. AS they expect less, less becomes their way and Jesus provokes them to a new sense of faith in action. God promises, no matter how exhausted or discouraged we might be, enough power and strength for what we have to face. For every challenge God has a powerful solution if we but that small amount of faith that can move mountains.
Today I ask God to help me have faith for the days ahead. Though we all have challenges the size of mountains in our lives and in our ministry, may we trust God to provide us with the faith and power we need. May our faith not dwindle but rather steadily increase, as the mustard seed becomes a tree. May the deep roots of God's love hold us fast in hard times and give us the faith we need to carry God's love into the world.
Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon us the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.