Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost [Laity Sunday] (Oct 2nd)

Summary of Luke 17:5-10

Jesus has told his followers that (1) there will be times when you lose your faith, but if you cause another to do so, your fate will be worse than death! (vv. 1-2) and (2) if a fellow Christian sins, rebuke him; if he repents, forgive him-however often he sins and repents (vv. 3-4). The twelve ("the apostles", v. 5) now speak to him, asking him to give them enough faith to remain faithful. (The "mustard seed", v. 6, is very small. The "mulberry tree" is large with an extensive root system making it hard to uproot.  It would not normally take root in the seas. ) Jesus tells them that with genuine faith, however, small, anything is possible.  Quality of faith matters more than quantity.

Jesus now tells a parable (vv. 7-10). Slaves were expected to do their duties, and no master would absolve a slave of them, so the disciples would answer of course not! to the question in v. 7: should a slave eat before his master? The master stands for God and the slave for his people.  The Greek word translated "worthless" (v. 10) means those to whom nothing is owed, to whom no favor is due, so God's people should never presume that their obedience to God's commands has earned them his favor. (The Revised English Bible translates v. 10b as We are servants and deserve no credit; we have only done our duty.) However, as 12:35-38 says, God will reward those who are prepared when Christ comes again.

Chapel in the Cove has designated this Laity Sunday. Members of the congregation will be particiapting in the worship service today.