“ life starts in the dark. Whether it is a seed in the ground, a baby in the womb, or Jesus in the tomb, it starts in the dark.”

Barbara Brown Taylor, Learning to Walk in the Dark, 2014

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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.”

Luke 17:5-6

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Have you ever felt overwhelmed and afraid? What keeps you grounded in faith and hope? Sometimes all it takes is a small gesture from a friend or family member. Maybe a hug when you’re scared, or a friend to say “yeah, that’s tough,” when you’re struggling.

Our reading today comes in the middle of a longer passage. In this passage Jesus is having a conversation with his disciples about sin and evil. They want Jesus to increase their faith in the face of such tremendous evil. Jesus compares faith to a mustard seed. A mustard seed is really small – 1-2 millimeters in diameter. Jesus is saying that’s all the faith they need – just a tiny fraction. Jesus goes on to say that such a seemingly small amount of faith can have tremendous power.

What small gesture of faith can you give someone today?

Susan Sytsma Bratt

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Gracious God, give me eyes to see the mustard seeds of faith around me today – the kind word from a friend, the embrace of a parent. Empower me to not only see those mustard seeds but also to have the courage to plant those seeds. Amen.

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“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Susan Sytsma Bratt

Susan Sytsma Bratt is the Associate Pastor at Northridge Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas. She drinks way too much coffee and loves exploring the world with her husband and their toddler.

Making Space: He Leadeth Me

Carter Harrell

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