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Societies have always been constructed around complicated systems of honour and appearance. Some people are part of the ‘in crowd’; others are not. This week I caught up with two families that each have fourteen-year-old daughters who were born only a few days apart – so they have grown up like sisters. Before they go out to a party with their friends they Skype each other to check what they are wearing to make sure that they are each wearing similar things but that one of the girls doesn’t wear something exactly the same that someone else is planning on wearing. St Paul when he writes to his young disciple Timothy wants to reassure him that even though Paul has been arrested and is a prisoner for the sake of proclaiming Jesus to be the true Lord, and so definitely not in the ‘in crowd’, that Timothy should not be ashamed. Paul encourages him to step out in faith. Timothy perhaps doesn’t know how gifted he is.

When the disciples say to Jesus ‘increase our faith’ it is not actually a pious prayer but an excuse to get out of doing what Jesus has just asked them. In fact it is not about the size of our faith – but about the power of God that we have faith in. This is what matters. 

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Recorded at St Paul’s, 10am (10’59”)
Sunday 27, Year C. Habakkuk 1,2; 2 Tim 1; Luke 17:5-10.