Jesus said: "Truly I tell you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there', and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you." - Matthew 17:20
I'm not comfortable with heights.
There's a bit of irony in that because rumor has it I'm tall. Honestly, I've never noticed. Other people are tall. I'm just prone to hit my head a lot.
Still, heights give me the willies. Therefore cleaning the gutters, riding the Ferris wheel and scaling mountains are all tall orders I tend to avoid.
Even though we live by faith (why else did you get out of bed this morning?), we also view faithfulness as a tall order. When we think of faithfulness we think of someone who is firm in his commitments, someone who is steadfast in her position, someone who is reliable and unfailingly consistent. In other words, when we think of someone who is faithful, we think of someone other than ourselves.
Few people, in their right minds, believe they are shining, towering examples of faithfulness. After all, we don't sing: Great is MY faithfulness!
The Bible agrees. The Bible is not a book to turn to if you want to find faithful human beings. Turn to the Bible if you want to find a God who is faithful to us despite our consistently wavering faith in God. Jesus said having faith the size of a mustard seed would be a huge accomplishment but that's hardly a ringing endorsement for the human capacity for faithfulness.
On the other hand:
A seed of faithfulness can move a mountain of fear in the face of a life threatening illness;
A dash of faithfulness can help us scale a cliff of resentment with our employer or lack thereof;
A drop of faithfulness can pull us out of the gutter of guilt and regret.
Great and faithful God, for me faithfulness feels like a tall order. Assure me today, that however little faith I have, it is enough to do great things by your grace. Amen.
Matthew Laney is the Senior Minister of Asylum Hill Congregational Church, UCC, in Hartford, Connecticut.