As autumn slowly embraces us, with the promise of an imminent end of the terrors of the 2019 “Hurricane Season” and with less need theologically to dwell on harmonizing this year’s meteorological horror with the sovereignty of our beneficent God, I turn instead to the Gospel passage that many will read or hear read this weekend: Luke chapter 17: 5-10.

While making his way methodically from Galilee to Jerusalem, Jesus is reported in Luke as articulating a brilliant potpourri of instructive lessons and concepts, some of which, I fear, are commonly misunderstood: mustard-seed faith, slavery, the concept of a “doulos” (in Koiné Greek, a slave or servant) and the identity and obligations of slaves or other servants like ourselves in communities of godly faith.