Sermon Blog

5 November 2017

“A parish” that expresses its faith in action” (Sunday 5 November 2017)

Jesus looked up and saw their faith” – that is what it says in Luke 5. What did he see that caused him to recognise faith? It was their actions. They had carried their paralysed friend all the way to this house and, when they couldn’t get in because of the crowd, they persisted to the extent that they climbed onto the roof and removed part of it. Now that does show a fair bit of commitment. In Jesus’ eyes faith is a verb, not a simply a set of beliefs. If we believe and it does not express itself in action, then maybe it is not as much belief as we think it is.

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Do you ever wonder where and how Jesus figured these things out? It isn’t enough to just assume it was all planted in Him before birth. Strangely his brother James, literally his brother, born from Mary with Joseph as biological father, also had the same

understanding, “You show me your faith and I will show you mine by my actions.” “Faith without works is dead.” (James 2).

I wonder if bedtime stories in Nazareth included Joseph telling those two little boys about their mother who was asked to believe in something? Her response was to give herself counter-culturally and at great risk to a pregnancy th
at she would never ever be able to explain satisfactorily to anyone (except cousin Elizabeth) for the next thirty years. That would have been a great faith lesson for the boys and girls who grew up in that little house in Nazareth.

Faith is a verb so let’s get verbing (I just made “verb” a verb as well).