We study these texts in order to be changed. We seek not just to understand the Bible better, or to become biblically literate, but rather to be transformed. How we approach the text becomes all important. Curiosity is not enough. Every reading of scripture needs to be like a pilgrimage.
We go to the text reminding ourselves of our own felt needs. We open ourselves to the Holy Spirit, praying that we might somehow hear what we need to hear. We acknowledge at the outset that we do not know how to read the text, that its truth will inevitably escape us if we come to it confident in our spirituality, our biblical expertise, or our faith. It is only as the poor of spirit that we discover ourselves blessed.
Take on, therefore, a beginner's mind. Come to these texts like a child, full of wonder, awe, and readiness. Expect surprise. Here, not knowing is the only way to know.
October 4: We Have Enough Faith
Amos 5:6-7, 10-15; 2 Timothy 1:1-14; Luke 17:5-10
The apostles say, "Increase our faith." Examine their presuppositions. They feel they don't have enough yet. That whatever the crisis, it will require more. That Jesus had more. That he could give them more. That faith is quantitative.
But how much would be enough? That whole way of looking at it puts the accent on our doubts. Would 51 percent faith be enough? 65 percent? 90 percent? Will we ever have enough? Will we ever be good enough?