Since Pastor Gary and Reba are on vacation I decided to hijack his portion of the newsletter to pass on an “ah ha” moment I had recently. Over the years, I’ve never really committed myself to reading a daily devotional. Sure, I read out of my Bible, but have never added any other type of devotional reading. This Lenten season I decided that rather than “give up” to show my love for Christ, I would “add to” my daily spiritual routine. I picked up the Daily Lenten Devotions from the Society of St. Andrew that Pastor Gary had for us and decided this is the year of change…this year I WILL read my Bible AND let a devotional guide my studies of The Word.
A lot of the daily readings involve Matthew 17:20, about the mustard seed. When I got to day 21 there was yet another “Mustard Seed” story. I snuggled down next to my fireplace and began reading. Holy Cow, this story gave a completely different aspect to the mustard seed.
I’d like to share that story with you. It’s written by Chris Howell and was included in the Daily Lenten Devotions from the Society of St. Andrew:
A different Kind of Faith
Scripture: Matthew 17:14-20
In Matthew, 17, the disciples had tried and failed to cast out a demon from a young boy. When they ask Jesus why they were unsuccessful, he tells them it was because of their “little faith.” He goes on to say if they had faith like a mustard seed – they could tell mountains to move.
Do you know what mustard weed was like in Jesus’ day? It was like the kudzu of Palestine. It grew wild. Birds ate it but didn’t entirely digest the seeds – and the seeds were dropped everywhere. It would take over fields and crops. You could pull it up but more birds would eat more mustard weed and it would be back. It was persistent, irritating, and fast-spreading. Jesus said that was the kind of faith the disciples needed: small and contagious; faith that is persistent and fast-spreading that takes over the world!
Living in the South, I know and understand kudzu. I’ve seen it take over trees and engulf buildings. Can you imagine how different the world would be if the love of God spread like that? Taking over and engulfing lives?
That is what the church is called to spark – a wildfire of faith! Uncontainable. Vast. Bigger than my puny human understanding can conceive. I have to stop putting my great God in my tiny human box and have faith in his power to transform lives.
Prayer: Father God, keep me mindful of your awesome power and unfathomable love.
And here I thought I understood the “Mustard Seed” story – have a small amount of faith and you can do miraculous things. Was I wrong! There’s so much more to the story than I had understood. My prayer for each of you is that you have faith like a mustard seed – not only as big as a mustard seed and incomprehensively strong, but persistent and so fast spreading that it takes over the world!