Ten years. Hard to believe that it's been ten years since I wrote this devotion - the first "small devotion" I ever wrote. It became the pattern for all of the others. On Sunday I shared this devotion with my congregation, Faith Lutheran Church. And we voted to change the name of our congregation, for one week, to O Ye of Little Faith Lutheran Church.
In spiritual matters, there is a danger of hearing God scolding us when He is really not. Of thinking that He is disappointed in us when, in fact, He is speaking to us so very gently and kindly. Such, I think, is the case with "O ye of little faith."
Sermons on this concept tell us that we should have more faith. But evidence points to a Lord who has come up with a loving nickname for us: Yeoflittlefaith. English hides the fact that in Greek it is only one word. It is used only by Jesus and it is unknown outside the Bible. It has the look and sound of a nickname. More than that, a term of endearment and affection.
If you look at the occasions when Jesus uses the term, His followers are anxious, fearful, or confused.* What kind of Christ would scold people already in this condition? No, a more tender name for us Christians cannot be found. He is saying how much we need Him. Little faith doesn't need more faith. A little faith needs Christ.
In a way, "O ye of little faith" is a promise that He will never leave, based on the fact that He never could! And in a mystery, it is a little faith that holds all of Christ. But perhaps it is more true to say that He holds our little faith as a precious thing to Him - guarding and protecting it.
Remember the little children brought to Jesus? Bring your little faith to Him. He will take it, bless it, and say, "To such belongs the kingdom."
Rejoice to be called "Oyeoflittlefaith."
*Matt. 6:30, 8:26, 14:31, 16:8, and Luke 12:28