Luke 17:5-10 (NRSV)
Verse 5The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" Verse 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. Verse 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'? Verse 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'? Verse 9Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? Verse 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!'"
Standing in front of a room full of confirmation students, I often feel like Marty McFly in the 1985 movie Back to the Future when he gets done playing a wild guitar solo at the high school dance. Everyone is staring blankly at him — he's played something from his jaunt to the future that they've never heard; they don't know what to make of it. McFly sheepishly offers, "I guess you guys aren't ready for that yet.... But your kids are gonna love it."
What is faith? As a young teenager tries to make sense of that, I like to tell them about why their faith will be helpful in the future. Their faith will give them hope. Belonging. A sense of peace. Faith will give them a relationship with God that will never leave them lonely. I extend an invitation to experience that for themselves. Turn to God in difficult times — just trust me on this one, kids; that's when your faith will increase the most!
God of faith, increase our trust in all that you do. Encourage us to deepen our relationship with you and to rely on the guidance of others who've come before us in faith. Amen.