Crossing Boulevard

with Rev. Rachel

5 INCREASE OUR FAITH!    - Luke 17

Whatever we think these disciples meant by “increase our faith”, chances are, they were thinking differently.

“Faith is a passionate intuition,” penned William Wordsworth in The Excursion.

No, faith is God’s work—God’s work in us, argues the spirit of Martin Luther. Actually, it is a gift, says Rebecca Bratten Weiss. “Our faith is a gift, and the gift is that we encounter divine presence.”

Lifted from the pages of C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity: “Faith is the art of holding spite of your changing moods.” And to have a Christian faith “means trying to do all that Jesus says...There would be no sense in saying you trusted a person if you would not take his advice”.

Which brings to mind my (Wesleyan) definition. Faith is an extraordinary trust.

Or is it awe in the presence of the divine incognito?* Karl Barth’s take.

From a Frederick Buechner sermon: "Faith is homesickness. Faith is a lump in the throat. Faith is less a position on than a movement toward...”

We are all people of faith, another Reverend argues. We live in a universe that is “so grandly complicated that all of human knowledge amounts to only a tiny fraction of reality” and therefore it is by faith that we do most of what we do. “Faith is what allows us to function despite knowing or sensing how little we actually know about all that surrounds us (David Pyle).”

Consider your definition of faith. And then consider letting it go for long enough to honor what faith may have meant for the early disciples. [Your definition or lack thereof isn’t going anywhere. It’ll be there...]

What they asked for was more than more beliefs: That’s for sure. Faith was something that would help them. Help them how? Faith was... You tell me.


* The divine incognito -- God's incarnation, God living incognito as a human among us.

UncategorizedRachel May