From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 17th Sunday after Pentecost

Hi everyone,

So it’s hard to believe that we at the cusp of October already. Our kids are adjusted to school (I think) and the routine that comes with it. But one thing that I can’t seem to get through their heads (at least of 2/3 of them), is that the school bell will ring with or without them. That means that if we want to make it to class before that bell, then we have to leave the house at a certain time. No amount of complaining, procrastinating, or how few minutes are left in the video that they’re watching can change that.

And that’s what they don’t get. They continue to complain, procrastinate, and whine about how there are just 2 minutes left to the video so I should let them finish watching it before we go, but we just can’t. The bell is the bell is the bell. It waits for no one.

I think the problem is that I haven’t instilled the importance of punctuality, and how that affects not just themselves, but those around them and even their futures. Sure, it’s not the end-all-be all for their careers or anything (unless they’re a time keeper for something), but being punctual helps them in life a lot more than not being punctual.

But even if they never learn that lesson, even if I can never teach it well enough to them, even if they never pick up any time management skills and have their dad rushing out the door pretty much every day, that bell is still going to ring at the time it’s going to ring. They can be on time or they can be late, it’ll still ring when it does. They can trust in that truth.

Here is the readings for next week:
Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4
Psalm 37:1-9
2 Timothy 1:1-14
Luke 17:5-10

Today in worship we talked about how our focus on survival could sometimes ironically cloud our focus on salvation, and I think in a way these texts extend those themes. We often are distracted by the things that stand in our way, be it hardship, difficulties, or troubles. And when these things happen, often we plead with God like the disciples and ask to “increase our faith.”

Why? Because we often think that is what saves us. “We are saved by grace through faith” after all, as Paul says. And since we aren’t feeling all that saved when the going is tough, then our natural response is to want our faith increased so we can have that “saved” feeling again. But the thing is that it isn’t actually our faith that saves us, but it’s in whom our faith is that does.

And that is the truth about God whether we believe it or not. God will love us whether or not we trust it. God will save us no matter how big or small our faith might be. Our salvation isn’t dependant on our faith, but it is our faith that allows us to see that salvation in some of the most pressing times.

So the request to increase our faith really isn’t on God or Jesus to do, but rather on ourselves. God has already done God’s part and continues to do so, but it’s just up to us if we want to be on board or not. And if you asked me, that is worth putting our faith in.

Thanks be to God! Have a great week!

Photo by Mpho Mojapelo on Unsplash

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