Matthew 17:14-20

14 When they came to the crowd, a man approached Jesus and knelt before him.15 “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. 16 I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.”

17 “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” 18 Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy, and he was healed at that moment.

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we drive it out?”

20 He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”


Christmas is about waiting. We are waiting for the birth of Jesus, waiting for vacation, waiting to open presents, waiting for life to return to normal. God’s people had been waiting many generations for a savior. They were looking for a king who would rescue them from oppression, restore a kingdom, and redeem the people. Jesus came in a time and place that was not expected. God’s ways and God’s timing are not predictable. Remember the decades the Israelites wandered in the desert. Think about the time Abraham and Sarah waited for a child. Recall the years of silence as God's people waited for the Messiah. We must always remember that God's timing is quite different from ours. And while we can never predict how God will work in our lives, we can live expectantly and ready to witness that work.


Jesus encouraged his frustrated followers in this passage by explaining that faith the size of a mustard seed could move mountains. “Nothing will be impossible for you." Most of us try to grow a forest in one day. Jesus, however, invites you to begin with a tiny seed. Watch it grow and wait for it to become all that you dreamed it would be. The horizon may seem empty today, but just wait! God always keeps his promises, even to those who have little faith. Just wait.


Holy One, you call me to be better. You ask me to live in such a way that points to you. Forgive me for failing. Give me guidance and courage to be a light in the world. Show me those who need your mercy, compassion and justice, then lead in ways to serve them. Thank you for the gift of Jesus. I love you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.