We're only at the sixth chapter in Mark and we are already seeing what belief and unbelief have to do with describing faith. The young beginning seeds of faith we saw in the woman healed of her bleeding, her faith made her well. Jairus' daughter was raised because he didn't lose faith even when his people came and told him his daughter was dead. He still followed Jesus instructions. Today Jesus goes home and can't do much because of their unbelief.
Jesus doesn't stand and reign down destruction on his hometown for their lack of belief. He doesn't pick up and leave. He does exactly what he came to do and then leaves and sends out his own disciples to do the same work with little in the way of supplies. They have to have faith they will be taken care of. Would we, do we possess that much faith?
There are times in Mark where the disciples fail to understand and their faith is questioned, like at the calming of the storm. So there are times we all question our faith, our belief. There are times when it feels as though the only important thing is faith. This week has been the general convention of The Episcopal Church. We have gotten to hear from many different preachers one of them was Becca Stevens. She is the founder of Magdalene, a residential program for women who have been trafficked as well as Thistle Farms the biggest social enterprise in the world. To hear her speak and see her preach, her whole being exuded her belief, her faith in the work she does. She talked about her own growing up and how her dad died and then began a time of sexual abuse from the Senior Warden from that church. How the church saved her through youth events. How the women she works with have all had histories of child sexual abuse. How this work makes a difference to the lost sheep. How we have to find the lost sheep beyond our own doors.
Faith is a tangible thing when heard and seen through someone who believes. Can we have that faith? To be sent outside the church walls and interact with the lost sheep who live in our back yard? To bring nothing but our belief, our faith in Christ who has saved us all in unique ways. To see what might happen if we have faith.
Faith challenges us, faith ignites embers in us, faith takes us outside ourselves and what is familiar to take a chance. To care for others when people don't. Because Jesus didn't come for the hometown crowd, he came for the lost and sent out his disciples to the lost. Can we have that faith and what is it calling for us to find?