"Support us, O Lord, all the day long of this troubled life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes and the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then, Lord, in your mercy, grant us a safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at the last, through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Portions of this Funeral Prayer, from the Book of Common Prayer accompany our God Pause reflections for this week)
And the busy world is hushed...
Is faith something that we can own? If that's true, then my problem is that I can never seem to get enough of it—enough of it so I can tame the chaotic busy-ness of this world much like Jesus promises in that case of that pesky mulberry tree. So I, too, stand with the apostles of Christ with my hands out, hoping that God will give me more of this faith stuff—or at least point me in the right direction to find it. But I don't think faith works that way. Faith is a gift, a relationship, given to us when we are marked with the cross of Christ; we are crucified and resurrected with him in our baptism. So there's nothing really we can do to claim more faith. What we do instead is turn to love and serve our neighbors, empowered by this active, busy faith that we have been given.
Let us pray,
O God you are the giver of all things good. Remind us of the promises you make to us in our baptism. Give us faith so that we may know you are with us in the chaos of this world, so that we may let our light shine before others and show your love to all whom we meet. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Amen.
Luke 17:5-10 (NRSV)
5 The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!"
6 The 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'?
8 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'?
9 Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded?
10 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!'"