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Posts Tagged ‘Parable of the Sower’


Mark 4:26-34: The Mystery of Kingdom – Part I

James Tissot: The Parable of the Sower

James Tissot: The Parable of the Sower

Monday June 15, 2015

Jesus says: This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.

With our high-tech science in which we manipulate the very substance of plant and human DNA; and we establish pros and cons explaining how we are helping or harming the planet. These are discussions that did not occur with Jesus’ contemporaries yet Jesus is with us still today, guiding us. If only we might make ourselves full citizens of the kingdom. If only we might awaken to the word of God and the movement of the Spirit. If only we might follow Christ.

Jesus says: Of its own accord the land yields fruit, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once, for the harvest has come”.

Jesus uses this and other parables to bring home his thoughts to his audience. Two thousand years ago Jesus used the mystery of the grain in the harvest to call workers to the kingdom. Today, what parable does he use? Perhaps it is the story of genetically modified crops. We may not be aware that Jesus is present as we make decisions that affect the world for generations; yet Jesus’ word is as important to us today as it was to ancient peoples.

Harvest Reapers

Harvest Reapers

Jesus says: To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it? It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all seeds on the earth. But once it is sown, is springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth branches, so that the birds of the ski can dwell in its blades.

Jesus uses parables with us today, but do we apply the lessons he is teaching? Do we explain away the kingdom with our scientific prowess which, when we pause to think of it, is a gift from God in itself? Are we open to the mystery of the kingdom and our world? Do we call others to partake of this mystery? And do we celebrate the gift of Jesus’ presence in every moment and every space of our lives?

The disciple Mark says: With many such parables he spoke to them as they were able to understand it. Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

Women_reaping

Women Reaping

As followers of Christ and readers of God’s word we have become his disciples. Jesus speaks to us in our hearts, explaining the mysteries that puzzle us and healing the wounds that cripple us. When we spend time with scripture we spend time with Christ. Read varying versions of today’s citation . . . and listen for the word of God. For Jesus speaks to each of us so that we might better understand the mysteries of our world, so that we might better comprehend the miracle and gift of this elusive gift of kingdom that we seek . . . but that we already possess and enjoy.

We have looked at the mystery of God, Jesus, he Spirit, power, rendering, resurrection and incarnation. This week we pause to spend time with scripture, looking for the kingdom that is already ours as explained by Jesus to his followers, and as found in the words of the Old and New Testaments. Today we begin our journey as we use the scripture link of this citation from Mark to compare texts . . . and to listen for the Word of God.

To learn more about agriculture and other topics in biblical times, click on the image of the women reaping, or visit: http://www.bible-archaeology.info/agriculture.htm 

 

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holy_family_610x300@2xSunday, December 28, 2014

Joy and the Holy Family

Mark

 The New Testament brings us the good news of personal freedom and the reality of our individual relationship with God. Joy continues to surprise us as we rejoice in the coming of the Messiah.

Jesus steps into the Gospel of Mark as a grown man seeking baptism from his cousin, John. In this way, Mark moves directly into the substance of Christ’s story. Jesus comes as one of us to heal, restore, liberate and transform.  Mark records Jesus’ telling of the parable of the sower who plants the Word on the trodden path, among the rocks, in the thorns, and on fertile ground. The joy of God’s word takes root only in rich soil. Let us spend some time today preparing ourselves for the reception of God’s joy.

Mark 4:13-20: Jesus says: Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables? The sower sows the word. These are the ones on the path where the word is sown. As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once and takes away the word sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who, when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy. But they have no root; they last only for a time. Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. Those sown among thorns are another sort. They are the people who hear the word, but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit. But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.

joyWe might believe that in order to bear fruit we must rid our lives of thorns and stones and hardness; and it is true that the elimination of these obstacles would certainly smooth the way for God’s word to take hold of us in a permanent and lasting way. But when we look closely at the last of Jesus’ words in this parable we might be surprised by God’s joy.

But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.

It is not so much that joy flourishes in the uprooting of all thorns and the clearing of all rubble; rather, we find infinite joy in God when we accept God’s Word . . . and agree to work in God’s vineyard. On this day when we celebrate the joy of the Holy Family, let us determine that we will live as sisters and brothers in Christ who hear, accept, and move forward with the Good News of Joy.

If this week’s Noontimes call you to search for more ways to encounter Joy or urges you to investigate the New Testament, click on the word Joy in the categories cloud in the blog’s right hand sidebar and choose a reflection, or enter those words in the blog search bar. You may want to visit the Joy for the Journey blog at www.joyforthee.blogspot.com

For more information about anxiety and joy, visit: http://riselikeair.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/anxiety-joy-a-journey/

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