|A single mustard seed|
Read the texts online at the Vanderbilt Divinity Library:
Lamentations 1:1-6: This whole book is a collection of mournful poems grieving over the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple. The victorious Babylonians had driven away into exile most of the civic and religious leadership of Israel. With ethnic cleansing a political reality still, it seems a fitting time to read all five chapters to recognize how utterly despairing refugees must feel. But don't miss the faint hope for God's justice and mercy expressed in 3:19-33.
Psalm 137 (UMH 852): Here are the words of the exiles themselves. Their despair reaches the depths of advocating the murder of Babylonian children in a terrifying outburst of vengeance.
2 Timothy 1:1-14: This letter reflects a period of early church history when at least three generations were included in its membership. This could have been as late as 110-120 AD.
The writer's counsel to his disciple is to remain faithful to those spiritual values his mother and grandmother believed in. Not being ashamed of one's faith in the face of persistent opposition comes from holding to the standard of sound teaching with the help of the Holy Spirit.
Luke 17:5-10: In response to his disciples' request that he increase their faith, Jesus paints two quite different pictures from everyday life in ancient Palestine. Both carry striking spiritual truth, but neither is to be taken literally. Their underlying meaning gives some frank but essential lessons to be learned by anyone who would be a disciple of Jesus.
The transplanted mulberry tree emphasizes that implicit trust in God enables us to accomplish seemingly impossible things. The parable of the master and his servant points out that those who carry out God's commands have no reward other than knowing that they have done what was expected of them.