I’m going very slowly in my sermon prep this week. I’m planning on preaching on Luke 17:5-10, but I may use verses 1-4 as well.

1 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. 2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. 3 So watch yourselves. “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. 4 If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. 7 “Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'” Luke 17:1-10 (NIV)

ughtree.gifVerses 5 and 6 talk about faith and verses 7-10 talk about our duty to God. Verses 1-4 talk about sin. I think they really all go together, but I’m not exactly sure how. I think that we need faith in order to perform our duty to God without expectations of glory for ourselves. I also think that we need faith in order to continue to forgive those who sin against us and in order not to be the one “through whom (things that cause people to sin) come”.

So, I guess that is what I’m planning on elaborating on. I found it interesting that the Mulberry tree is known for it’s very deep root system. In other words, it’s not the easiest tree to uproot (it’sprobably the hardest). It’s great how Jesus always used the most extreme examples to illustrate His point. He didn’t pick just any tree with roots, but a tree with one of the deepest root systems. To me, that shows He’s God. Of course, people of Jesus’ time probably knew about the Mulberry tree’s roots, but Jesus, being God knew even more. And of course, He still knows more today.

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My husband and I are friends with another couple. Recently, we noticed that they were dressing much more conservatively than before. The women (wife and 2 girls; one teenager and one pre-teen, I think) are now wearing head coverings and long dresses and the men (husband and teenage boy) are wearing pants, rather than shorts, and beards (if possible) J. My husband and I, being curious like most people and also being pastors, wondered what their thinking was behind the recent change.

Yesterday, we got to talk to the wife of the family. (I’m not naming them for their privacy. I don’t know if they would mind or not, so it’s better to stay safe.) She enlightened us. She told us that she had actually wanted to wear a head covering since they had returned from living overseas. But because of the situation they were in they decided that it would be wiser not to. I won’t go into the reasoning behind that, but in their case I agree with their decision. However, she told us that she had been wearing a large hair clip to signify a head covering and still be discreet. They said that when they came back from overseas, they were shocked at what people were wearing (or not wearing). They wanted to keep themselves holy. They have also stopped eating pork. They said that this was because while they don’t see anything wrong with eating pork, not eating pork was a good reminder to them to stay holy and clean. This is the case with the change in appearance, too. They are more careful of what they do and read and say because more people are watching them. (more…)