Faith of a mustard seed

Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

Barbara A. Woods Washington, M. Div.

“Let the prophet who has a dream tell the dream, but let him who has my word speak my word faithfully. What has straw in common with wheat? Says the Lord. Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer which breaks the rock in pieces?

Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who steal my words from one another. Behold, I am against the prophets, says the Lord, who use their tongues and say, “Says The Lord.” “…Then Zedekiah the king asked Jeremiah secretly in his house and said: “Is there any word from the Lord?” (Jeremiah 23:28-31; 37:17).

Tillich, again in ‘The New Being’, using the subject ‘Is There Any Word From The Lord?’, examines this text of Jeremiah in the context of faith. The discourse indicates that this question has been asked historically by ‘kings in moments of danger’; by ‘people in times of unrest’; by ‘individuals in moments of great personal decision’. Situations of helplessness and hopelessness.

This week a young lady posted her rant on Facebook. She is in her car on Sunday Morning heading to Church and the clip is called ‘Stop Lying In Church’. She says I just want to pop in and have a transparent moment with you. She has passed by a lot of Churches, many, she says, of which have overflowing crowds of cars in the parking lots. She adds a disclaimer to don’t take what she says the wrong way that she is not talking about not going to Church. She then goes on to say that “There are people across this country who are HURTING, and they are being “PropheLIED” to… about your house, your car, your man, your money… YOU ‘BOUT TO GET. I have sit and sit in service listening to what God IS ABOUT TO DO, what he is GOING TO DO. People are Hurting. You got some ‘walking time bombs’ around here that need to be diffused. We need some RIGHT NOW TRUTH. There is a DROUGHT ON TRUTH! People need to know how NOT TO GO TO JAIL; how not to pick up a crack pipe; how not to slit their wrist because life is too much (or too little); how to feed their children when they are hungry. People are HURT-TING! You see kids sitting up there with holes in their shoes and you got on Gaters. Why? People are hurting. The House of God is where you supposed to go, and you get cut in your sin, and you get healed, and you do better. Quit lying to folks.” IS THERE ANY WORD FROM THE LORD?

In the moments of danger, the times of unrest, and the circumstances of great personal decision, the possibilities (to include loss)
are unsettling. The consequences of proposed actions (including non action) are disturbing. Even the ‘hind sighted wouldas’ offer no real “liberation from the longing that grows in the soul.” IS THERE ANY WORD FROM THE LORD?

This question, when and where asked, elevates the situation to ‘ultimate importance’ and ‘infinite significance’. In doing so, among other things, the anxiety is removed and courage is given.

“The Church and it’s servants,” Tillich suggests, (have made the Word From The Lord) “a matter of law and tradition, of habit and convention.” A possession. That no longer cuts into ‘our ordinary world. A possession. Of something that can NEVER BE possessed! Ceasing to ask and to cry out for It… IS THERE ANY WORD FROM THE LORD?

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