When they came to the crowd, a man came to Jesus, knelt before him, and said, "Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; he often falls into the fire and often into the water. And I brought him to your disciples, but they could not cure him." Jesus answered, "You faithless and perverse generation, how much longer must I be with you? How much longer must I put up with you? Bring him here to me." And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?" He said to them, "Because of your little faith. For truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:14-21
We often panic when our local churches have limited funds and our denominations likewise panic and downsize when the money gets tight. We think that God is asking us to get smaller and give in to the way the world might see us. People can be set aside randomly when we panic and tighten. Real lives can get permanently damaged when we respond in fear. We act like God is not in our midst and there is nothing more to offer.
Jesus comes across a man who is in despair for his child. He went to the disciples but this healing seemed to hard for them. They panicked and sent them away. But the parent persisted and Jesus healed him and chastised his disciples. they panicked, it seemed to be too much for what they had, and they walked away. Jesus promised them and us today that if we persist, if we don't look at our lack but at God's abundance, we can move mountains. In this time of panic and downsizing, we might want to listen to Jesus. We might want to widen our mission instead of ending our reach and compassion, expecting that God is with us and moving mountains is still possible.
Today, I ask God to help me not to react to reports of our lack but rather increase my prayer and trust in God. May we live our days not constricted by our limited but expanded by the love of God which is limitless and abundant in this panicky generation.