As I look out the front window at our house, I see our front yard tree without its leaves, looking as bare and dead as can be. The wind is blowing hard; the snow is covering the ground; and the current temperature sits at an even 0 degrees and dropping. And I wonder, how can that tree survive? Yet survive it does. Year after year. And not only survive, each spring and summer it thrives. Every year it is growing taller and stronger.
Such is the case, Jesus says, with the Kingdom of God. Jesus doesn’t use the cold and snowy winters of South Dakota as his metaphor, but he does talk about seeds lying in the ground, seemingly doing nothing. But as the farmer sleeps, the seeds grow, until one day they are not only surviving, but thriving and ready for harvest.
As we preach and read through the gospel of Mark, the text for this weekend talks of seeds, growth, and the Kingdom of God. Please read Mark chapters 3 and 4. Our focus in worship will be on Mark 4:26-34.
Jesus reminds us that ministry done in his name is about planting seeds. As we hear God’s word and live among God’s people, God plants the seeds of faith in us and others. Yet God uses us to plant seeds in others as well. Parents, church schoolteachers, confirmation mentors, – all of us are both recipients of the gift of faith and seed planters too.
One of my most special memories as a kid growing up is getting up early and walking into the living room and seeing my mom, early in the morning each day… day after day, curled up on the corner of the couch with a blanket on, a cup of tea by her side, reading the Bible. That poignant memory helped to shape me. Even as a child, and as a teen, seeing my mom reading the Bible spoke volumes to me about how important, and how life giving, that book must be. Seeds of the word of God were being planted.
Give thanks today that God has planted the seeds of faith in you, and that the Holy Spirit is working to make those seeds grow and grow and grow in order to bear fruit for the Kingdom. Give thanks, too, that Gloria Dei, by Jesus’ own commissioning, is in the seed planting business. Sharing the good news of Jesus and living it out as we serve others: That’s why we are here. That’s what we are all about. Even when it looks bleak outside, God is working within each of us to grow the seeds of faith in Him.
And speaking of bleak weather, we will have all worship services as scheduled for this weekend. Please know we want you to be safe, and if you choose to stay home because of the cold temps, remember that you can join in worship online on Sunday at 9:00 a.m. at www.gloriadeisf.org/live.
See you in worship or online.