Tuesday, June 9, 2015

seeds and faith Mark 4:26-34

Jesus compared God's kingdom to seed. First seed simply scattered (Mark 4:26-29) and next a mustard seed (Mark 4:30-32). In Southern Minnesota's prairie, where I live, people think about seeds in spring. My girls and I planted vegetable seeds in the garden a few weeks back. After planting comes waiting.

Jesus compared the kingdom of God to seeds scattered. But, as Jesus says, we don't know how the seed grows. Even in a "scientific age" with so many mysteries explained mysteries still remain. As a person of faith I often see God's hand at work in the mysteries of life in creation and in the re-creation of believers. Science explains how things grown but not necessarily why. Faith says look to God, the creator who made it just so. Jesus wasn't talking about seeds thou to give a lesson on gardening. He's using seeds to get us to consider the mystery of God's coming kingdom.

Jesus taught powerful truths through seemingly simple stories. He told parables about seeds that invite us into the joy and the wonder of God's work in creation, redemption, and renewal. Jesus told a story of seed scattered. In some ways I can see what he's saying as I look at our garden. The first plants: beans (both wax and green), sugar snap peas, spinach, zucchini, corn, and carrots sprouted quickly. The tomatoes and peppers, started in advance, have taken their place next to the onions that over wintered. Our planting time passed a few weeks ago--but the power in each little seed comes clear right now. It amazes me watching as seeds, no more than a fraction of an inch in size, grow into plants. First green shoots pop with a few embryonic leaves. More substances comes for each plant, many more leaves, branches, flowers, and hopefully fruit will grow from those seeds.

Jesus wants us to see how his kingdom grows. Someone, who Jesus doesn't name, scatters seed, maybe God or maybe a person of faith. And without our knowledge how or permission God's kingdom sprouts and takes root in our lives and our world. He compared the kingdom with a mustard seed--so tiny--but as a plant prolific in all that comes from one seed. Jesus' stories about the scattered seed and the mustard seed are rich in imagery encouraging thought and imagination. What is God up to today. Look at the seeds sprouting to life and you'll see something akin to the inner workings of God's kingdom in his time, our time, and in the world to come.
Peace, and thanks for reading