I had trouble getting to sleep last night so I decided to do my morning prayer. In fact, I have been praying a lot lately. It’s very easy yet deadly to get caught up in all the political turmoil that’s been going on as of late. Today’s collect for the 14th Sunday after Trinity is a request to be filled with faith, hope, and charity. We must remember that despite everything, God is infinite and he reigns over all. All things must be according to his will. While a lot of us are in a state of fear, today’s collect and scripture readings remind us that we do not have enough faith at all and must constantly be asking to be filled with faith and to find our strength, not in this world but in Christ.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, give unto us the increase of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain that which thou dost promise, make us to love that which thou dost command; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (collect from 1928 BCP)
The scripture readings also recall this to our minds.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. 6 Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you. 10 I rejoice in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me; you were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I complain of want; for I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content. 12 I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound; in any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and want. 13 I can do all things in him who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:4-13, RSVCE)
5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith as a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this sycamine tree, ‘Be rooted up, and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you. 7 “Will any one of you, who has a servant plowing or keeping sheep, say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down at table’? 8 Will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, and gird yourself and serve me, till I eat and drink; and afterward you shall eat and drink’? 9 Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that is commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty.’” (Luke 17:5-10, RSVCE)
9 Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; 10 love one another with brotherly affection; outdo one another in showing honor. 11 Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord.12 Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.13 Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 16 Live in harmony with one another; do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly;[a] never be conceited. 17 Repay no one evil for evil, but take thought for what is noble in the sight of all. 18 If possible, so far as it depends upon you, live peaceably with all. 19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it[b] to the wrath of God; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” 20 No, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. (Rom. 12:9-21, RSVCE)
My faith is most certainly not the size of a mustard seed. I know this because if I were to see a sycamine tree, and told it to uproot itself and then plant itself in an ocean, it would not do this. What do we do when we face the crises that this world presents to us? We turn to God in prayer and we ask that his will, not our will be done. We tend to forget quite a bit that while we are in this world, we’re not of this world. Our worldly governments are creations of man and they only last as long as God wills them. So we must keep turning ourselves over to God rather than be worrying about the next demonic institution that will end up gaining power at our expense. God reigns over even the demons. We must remember that no matter how bad things get, the side that seeks truly after God wins in the end.