Are you ever curious about the scripture texts that become the foundation for the sermons that Pastor Linda preaches? Every Sunday morning, at 9:00 a.m. a few Central folk gather together to study the Bible together, specifically focusing on the text from which Pastor Linda will be preaching that day. Everyone is welcome to join us. We are adding another opportunity to reflect on those texts, each week, online. Three or four different Central members will contribute a short reflection on an upcoming sermon text. You are invited to read the text and their reflections and then add your own voice to the conversation, if you wish. The conversation will assist Pastor Linda in her sermon preparation and may help all of us to hear the Spirit speaking more clearly though the text and the preacher’s sermon. You may comment on the scripture reading or reply to an existing comment.

Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost, October 6, 2019: Luke 17:5-10

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[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!’”

Footnotes:

a.      Luke 17:6 Gk faith as a grain of

Alyson Barnes

In Luke 17:5-10, Jesus tell his disciples “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.” Sometimes we feel like we are not good enough in the eyes of God but as long as you have faith, even through the hard times, you can do anything. Every day we wake up to a new set of challenges, yet we have faith that we are going to get through this new day and make it to tomorrow. Throughout our lives many of us do not go the extra mile for others. We feel that we just need to do what's best for us and our loved ones.

In the scriptures Jesus asks his disciples, “Who among you would say to your slave… ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? Would you rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me . . . serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink?” What would you do? Would you take the extra time out of your day to help someone in need or only do what you have to do for yourself? God gives us faith for us to believe that we can get through anything but in faith we have to do things for others.

[My name is Alyson Barnes and I am part of the youth group at Central.]

  

Kent Grimes

What is faith? The dictionary says it is a strong belief in God. The disciples were asking for more faith. I feel like you either have faith in God or you don’t. There is no such thing as more faith. Like the disciples we often feel that our faith is not sufficient. When we are asked to commit to a task in church we often are hesitant, but with faith in God all things are possible.

I remember when my father was asked to be an elder in my home church he was hesitant. He accepted the responsibility and spent an hour or more on Saturday nights composing his prayer for the next day’s service. My sisters and I each have a collection of his prayers that were saved. He was a simple farmer with a high school education. His prayers reflected the wisdom of the man of faith who he was. In the stories of Jesus ministry it was often these common people who showed their faith: the blind man, the beggar, the woman caught in adultery, the Samaritan leper.

It is often troubling to us when Jesus talks of slavery. In Jesus’ day being a slave meant one who was completely devoted to another person. Jesus expects us to be like slaves, ones who are totally devoted to Him. That devotion is like faith, either we are devoted or we are not. We are called to be totally devoted to God’s mission on Earth. No one of us can fulfill God’s mission, but with each of us doing our part we can make a difference.

[Kent Grimes is a graduate of Christian Theological Seminary who found his ministry in a Fifth Grade Classroom. He is retired from Perry Township Schools. He has been a member of Central for three years and is presently Team Leader of the Creation Care Team.]