4th Sunday after Pentecost, June 17, 2018
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
This has been quite a Spring season. The cold weather seemed to linger and then came rain after rain, after rain. What grew best in my yard were weeds. Including weeds of types I have never seen before. I wonder how they got there. Perhaps the wind, perhaps the birds, and most certainly the squirrels who have me constantly pulling out oak trees and black walnuts.
There have been times in my life where I planted seeds that came up in due time, and others where the seeds never grew, and I donâ€™t know why. Perhaps it was too much rain, or not enough sun, or too hot or too cold. Maybe even the birds picked the seeds out of the ground. Who knows?
Things grow in time, when they decide to, the conditions are right for their growth, or God wills them to grow. We all know that things grow in their good time.
The same can be said of faith. The faith of each person grows in its own time, or when God intercedes.
No one of us is at the same place in our faith, because we all grow in faith at different rates. Faith grows at different speeds in different people.
It is important for us to remember this and not expect everyone else to be at the same place we are in the faith. Itâ€™s also important for us to remember that faith is not a once-and-done thing, but that faith needs to be nurtured and tended to so that it continues to grow. Faith is a lifelong learning process.
With even a little mustard seed of faith, much can be accomplished.
Our faith mustnâ€™t come with a closed mind, but one open to the possibilities that Godâ€™s Kingdom offers.
IN the second lesson for today, Paul tells the Corinthians, â€œWe walk by faith and not by sight.â€ Why? Because faith comes from the heart, not from the brain. It does not require sight, except the inner sight of the heart and emotion and compassion. Faith doesnâ€™t say, â€œGive me solid evidence.â€ It simply says, â€œYes, Lord, I feel your presence. I believe.â€
What keeps us going? Paul tells us, â€œFor the love of Christ urges us on because we are convinced that one person has died for all people.â€ All People. Every people.
Paul also says, â€œHe died for all, so that those who live might live, not for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for us all.â€
To live for Jesus is to be like little Christs in the world, to serve others in the world as Jesus served.
Through faith, we no longer see people through our own, human eyes, but through the eyes of Jesus, who loved all people and died for all people, and who loves all people still. As Paul writes, â€œWe no longer look at people from a human point of view;Â even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view; we know him no longer in that way.â€
We knew him as Jesus, the human, the teacher and the preacher and the worker of miracles. But now we know him as Jesus, the divine Lord and Savior of all humankind. Knowing Christ makes us different because we see things through his eyes.
This is the seed of faith that we need to spread generously. All people are of value to God. His creation, his creatures. He counts them all.
His aim is that we sow seeds of love, patience, and kindness. This is what honors him the most.
Brothers and sisters continue to grow in the faith of Jesus Christ, who loved you enough to die for you. Live your life honoring him, by honoring all others in the world. Let the tiny seed of faith in you, grow giant Redwoods of compassion and caring.