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the diolight WEDNESDAY, 2 October 2013

Increase our Faith The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” The Lord replied, “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. 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’? 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’? Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? 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!’” — Luke 17:5 – 10

We misunderstand “faith” and so we end up misusing it. We tend to operate as if faith is an idea or a concept that we must intellectually accept. So when the disciples ask Jesus to “increase our faith,” we think that maybe they are asking us to make their idea of truth bigger or their understanding of God unassailable.

Vol. 1, Iss. 15

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The Rev. Canon Andrew Gerns

Or else we think that faith is mainly your time. Faith in Jesus is not shown about our feelings. So maybe the dis- by saying or thinking things about ciples were asking Jesus to help them him, but by following him.” feel more faithful. I would add that the relationship of While it is true that our perceptions faith is also one of dignity. As we daily determine our reality, and that we participate with God in the dignity remake meaning out of what we expe- stored to us in the life, death and resrience, this by itself is not faith. These urrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ we may feed faith, but they are not the are living a life of faith. How we show same. This kind of “faith” can be just as respect to our neighbor, co-worker, or much hubris as humility. a stranger grows our faith. Our choice to practice our professional dealings If our faith is based on our intellect ethically and with clarity nourishes our alone we can be talked out of it. faith. The way we bear one another’s burdens, and walk with one another If our faith is based on our feelings increases our faith every day. alone we can tire of it. This is why Jesus said that a little Faith is relationship. Sarah Dylan faith goes a long, long way. Faith inBreuer reminds us that the relation- fluences our heart and informs our ship of faith is one of trust. She writes: head, but to increase our faith we “When Jesus talks about ‘faith,’ he's not must live our faith — that means daitalking about what you do in your head; ly connecting what we believe with he's talking about what you do with how we live and who we are. Even your hands and your feet, your wallet a mustard seed of faith makes a and your privilege, your power and mountain of difference.

Spirituality of Children, Spirituality of All Young children have a spiritual self, just as they have physical and emotional selves. They are already known and loved by God, and research tells us that they in turn have an awareness of God. Children are not empty vessels waiting for adults to tell them about God and fill them with theological knowledge. They are already relating to God. Thus, an important role of caring adults is to guide children to explore their relationship with God. What is true about children is true about human beings. Whether wise el-

The Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem 333 Wyandotte Street, Bethlehem, PA (610) 691-5655 • www.diobeth.org

ders or adults or teens or infants, we are known and loved by God. Each of us is a complete and complex human being. None of us is passively waiting for someone to fill our heads with theological understanding. Rather, I suspect most of us are hungry for guidance as we try to understand our relationship with God and how that relationship informs our everyday lives. Regardless of age or experience, we all can use encouragement and guidance to expand our relationship with God.

The Rev. Canon Anne Kitch Church congregations are one of the few places in our culture where multiple generations interact with each other with mutual purpose; congregations have a unique opportunity to actively support the spiritual formation of all ages. When we respect and nurture the spiritual lives of children in our parishes, we strengthen the entire community. When we worship together, learn and play together, reach out to those in need together, we can guide each other as we spread the love of Christ.

Diolight, Vol. 1, Iss. 15  

This is the bi-weekly bulletin publication from the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem.

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