October 6, 2019
Respectfully Written by Peggy Brown
Many people want to have more faith, but Jesus says in Luke 17:5-10, “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.” In other words, it doesn’t take much faith. Even a tiny bit is sufficient.
If you have been at Ascension awhile, you can see what people of faith have accomplished here. Buildings and grounds are tended; needed projects are underway. Devoted office volunteers answer phones, care for people, direct people to the help they need, prepare for Sunday morning. When the office workers finish their time for the day, I say something like, “Thank you. I’m really glad you were here.” Nancy Zerbe, who works on Wednesday afternoons, said, “Don’t thank me. I’m one of the team!”
That is what Jesus was saying today. Being one of the team is to trust in the Lord and to do that next thing in God’s mysterious way that God puts forth for us to do. Here in the church, out in the community: doing those things of faith brings hope to others and to us, a sense of belonging and peace as we realize that probably it’s not the faith that enables us to do things. It’s stepping out in faith and God working in and through us to do those things, and then our faith grows.
If you were here in 2014, you know we were about to demolish the old classrooms and parish hall, and a fig tree on the corner of the church would be taken out too. Stepping out in faith, a team of people said, no we have to save it. So now the fig tree is thriving beside the sidewalk and nourishing people with its figs.
In 1984 did any of you have a vision of the Red Door Food Pantry that exists today? It has come a long way from even nine years ago, operating out of a closet at Ascension House. But a few years ago, the Tindall family, Jeff in particular, had a vision for what we could do, and we are now distributing food here as well as in south Bartow and soon Kingston and Emerson. I never had a vision of a big refrigerator truck, but Jeff did. He stepped out in faith, we applied for a grant, and we bought a truck.
Jesus is saying to use the faith you already have: stepping out in a tiny bit of faith to do what God has laid before us to do, trusting God to be with you to do it, and accomplishing such a great deal…
Depend on God to do the next loving, kind, and right thing God puts before you. Do it with your time, your talent, and--in this season of year—the treasure you have been given. I will learn, instead of saying thank you, to say it is good to serve with you, the Ascension team.
Amen. Thanks be to God.