Matthew 21: 18- 21

18 In the morning, when he returned to the city, he was hungry.  19 And seeing a fig tree by the side of the road, he went to it and found nothing at all on it but leaves. Then he said to it,  “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.

20 When the disciples saw it, they were amazed, saying, “How did the fig  tree wither at once?”

21 Jesus answered them, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will be done.


We’ve all heard that phrase “faith to move mountains” which comes from this exchange between Jesus and his disciples.  Does Jesus mean actual, geological mountains?  Perhaps.   But it seems just as plausible to me that Jesus means the seemingly insurmountable mountains that tower over our own lives — the mountain of guilt, the mountain of a broken relationship, the mountain of a destructive habit, the mountain of lost personal dreams.

Or maybe Jesus speaks of those mountains around us in our community and our world.  The mountains of hunger, racial division, violence, poverty.   What other mountains would you name in your own life, in your community, and our world?   This Lent, Jesus invites us to a greater faith in him, and then  to cast those heaping burdens and obstacles of granite and limestone into the sea.


Dear Lord,

There is so much that seems beyond us.  Remind us that there is nothing beyond you.  Nurture in us a faith that finds strength in you.