Scripture: Luke 6:39-49
Key verse: (47) I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them.
Reflection: When I was younger, I loved going trick-or-treating on Halloween and gathering as much candy as possible (like most children do). I had the habit of gathering up my candy and then storing it away in case there was a time when I desperately needed to have candy. I usually would have a few pieces from time to time in the months of November and December and then forget about it for the remainder of the year. The next Halloween would come around and I would find my basket hidden somewhere in my room, still mostly full with the candy from last year. I was so worried that I might run out of candy I never actually ate it or enjoyed the work I did to collect it all in one candy-filled night.
There are many ways that this metaphor of my childhood self can be analyzed, but in light of our scripture today, I think it demonstrates the ways that we “store up” our faith. We say the right words in church and devote ourselves to God but we sometimes keep our faith on a shelf, saved for a time when we really need it, instead of actively responding to our faith and showing it to others. And the truth is, our faith is not like a bucket of candy, because living into our faith through action does not diminish our supply but rather it amplifies it and shines through us to others as well.
This passage in Luke gives several examples of some of the barriers to true discipleship. Jesus mentions the need to learn from the teacher, rejecting the inclination to judge others, and the ability to show our faith through actions – not just the right words. Our faith is not something that we store and hoard. It is a call to change our lives and live differently, responding in faith by showing others through our actions. And it is through our faithful responses that Jesus shines through us and reaches those with whom we interact. I wonder how we might live out our faith today, letting God shine through us.
Prayer: Holy God, light of the faithful, quiet our fear of scarcity and help us to respond to your love through faithful action that through our deeds others might come to know you better. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.
Author: Savannah Demuynck
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].