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The Bulletin Insert Sunday 1th June, 2015 “From little things big things grow”

Lismore Anglican Parish Bulletin Insert – Sunday 14th June 2015, Pentecost 3

From little things big things grow, 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, 14-17 & Mark 4:26-34

 

The Two parables which Jesus tells are very similar. But Jesus is not simply telling stories. From the experience of his listeners, he is seeking some point of connection between their everyday life and the indescribable wonder of the kingdom of God.

The Kingdom of God is like the strange contradiction which nature itself provides: abundant crops from the smallest of beginnings. But there is more to it. Jesus’ own preaching has met with opposition. As we have seen, his own family thinks he is insane and the Scribes from Jerusalem regard his as being in league with Beelzebul. It would appear that his mission to bring in the kingdom of God is not meeting much success. But night and day, while the sower sleeps, the seed is sprouting and growing. How, he does not know.

The growth of the Kingdom cannot be measured by the yardstick of the human success story. The Kingdom is ‘of God’, and will grow silently and steadily according to God’s design. Jesus was only able to speak about the kingdom in parables because one cannot describe God’s ways; on can only tell stories about it! Of one thing we can be certain: God will surprise us. It is from the smallest of all beginnings that great things will come; the silent action of God will eventually bear fruit.

The relevance of today’s Gospel message is striking. Often we are concerned about the lack of public success with our efforts for God and for good seem to have. Many lament because the Christian Church does not play the dominant role in the formation of culture and political tradition which it once played. Christians are now relegated to the sidelines, and our way of life is often ridiculed.

Today’s parables encourage us to allow God to be God; to work is mysterious and surprising ways. We can be sure that the harvest time, when God will reap good fruits, will eventually come. This is not to condemn those who do not accept our ways, but to insist that the silent working of God is still present in our world.

(Adapted from This is the Gospel of the Lord – Year B, by Francis J. Moloney, p 156-7).

 

 

 

Mark 4:26-34

 

26 He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27 and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28 The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”

 

30 He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

 

33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; 34 he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

2 Corinthians 5:6-10, 14-17

6 So we are always confident; even though we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord— 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we do have confidence, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For all of us must appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each may receive recompense for what has been done in the body, whether good or evil.

14 For the love of Christ urges us on, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15 And he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who died and was raised for them.

16 From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view;[a] even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view,[b] we know him no longer in that way. 17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!