“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
Here Jesus claims that even the tiniest amount of faith is enough to accomplish great things. But the apostles think they need more. They ask Jesus to give them more faith. In much the same way, Christians find their way to church each week hoping to feed and increase their faith. Believers from a multitude of religions spend time in prayer developing their spirituality. But is all of this internal effort necessary? While the apostles are worried about increasing their faith, Jesus is much more concerned about the apostles using their faith, no matter how little they possess.
While there is nothing bad about increasing faith, maybe that’s not where the emphasis should be. Rather than spending so much time bolstering ourselves up to go out into the world to do good, perhaps we ought to venture into the world with the whatever faith we have and see what can be accomplished. Then we can see how even a little faith transforms the people and the world around us. In seeing these affects our faith grows. Seeing becomes believing. Here action leads to spiritual growth. We are called to live out our faith, bringing light to those shadowed parts of our world. When we act on faith we show others our trust in the divine and create opportunities for our faith to reseed, expand and grow. Rather than isolated in churches or alone in prayer, this is done in public for all to see; helping plant the seeds of faith in others.
I’m not saying we do away with worship, prayer, ritual or liturgy. But by exerting the same amount of effort toward faith-filled action, we can span the religious / secular divide and learn how to live our lives entirely steeped in faith. And by which inspire faith and a spiritual life in others.