Sermon Notes: Ordinary 27, Year C "Increase our faith"

Text: Luke 17:5-10

“Increase our faith”

  • The cry of the disciples is our cry
  • We earnestly desire to have faith
    • People are embarrassed to admit they have doubts
    • People decline to come to church until they have it sorted in their heads
    • Evangelical Mega-Churches and Traditionalist Shrines stifle questions and prevent debate because they are afraid to ask serious questions about Scripture, about morality, about sexuality, about the Church
      • Almost as though their faith wasn’t strong enough to be tested…
      • Faith is a gift from God,
      • Faith is a response to God, and it is not the only response available
      • Faith does not demand a blind unthinking response to what I, or the Church, or the Scriptures place before you.
      • Faith does not ask you to leave your brains at the door of this Church
      • Rather, you are called to ponder deeply these Scriptures, these Creeds, these teachings and to ask serious questions about them.
      • Serious Questions:
        • What is this writing? What genre or style
          • The Psalms were of a different purpose to the Histories or the Law, or the Pastoral Epistles
  • What is it’s context?
    • Who was it written for and from whom?
    • What was the writer trying to prove?
  • What was the culture of the time?
    • And how is our culture different?
      • Gender
      • Slavery
      • Geo-politics
  • What is God trying to say to us through this writing?
  • It is a long running joke of mine that I gave up theology about two weeks into my degree at Mirfield
    • And yet each time we enter into this sacred space…
    • Each time we partake of the sacraments
    • Each time we share prayer or fellowship
    • Each time we serve one another
    • Each time we open our hearts to the Scriptures
    • …we are doing theology
    • We are “speaking of God”
    • Theology is not some esoteric activity restricted to the ordained or those who aspire to holy orders
    • But rather theology is our work – all of us are theologians, all of us have a contribution to that dialogue with God.
  • How should we increase our faith then?
    • Through engagement with Scripture
    • Through Prayer
      • I have been asked to consider restarting Sunday evening services with regular benediction of the blessed sacrament
  • Through the sacramental life, lived together as a community
  • Through pilgrimage and devotion.
  • Do this, my friends, and God will work powerfully through you.

Amen