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Friday, June 29, 2012

The Kingdom of God

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Greetings all, I know I have been a little lax in the e-votional department recently, but I hope to make amends over the coming weeks. I also wanted to announce a special opportunity this Sunday, June 17. Our executive presbyter, the Rev. Sue Krummel, is running for moderator of the General Assembly (a big deal!) and has asked us to help. After worship, she would like us to stick around and ask her questions about the church, faith or theology. Anything is fair game since this exercise is meant to model what will happen when she is questioned on the floor of the General Assembly in Pittsburgh later this month. I hope you all will be thinking of questions. Now, on to the good stuff...

He also said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground,and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.’ He also said, ‘With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; 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.’ -Mark 4: 26-34

I will be honest with you, I do not love the "Kingdom of God is like..." passages. Often they seem to me confusing and obscure. I feel like, not being a first century Jew, I don't really understand the images. And yet as the sower scatters his seeds on the ground, Christ has scattered words about the Kingdom of God all over the Gospels. And for what purpose? The purpose, I think, is to remind us what is going on around here. These lives we lead are intended to direct us to the work of God in our midst. Just as the farmer sows his crops and then simply steps back and waits until the earth has done his work, so too do we marvel at the works of God in our midst, until it is time for us to do our work in God's name.


Further, the work we are doing often does not seem grand. Every great thing, it is important to remember, starts small. And such is the kingdom of God. Mustard seeds are tiny, yet they grow into this..


You didn't expect that, did you? The Kingdom of God is an impressive thing which is always happening amongst us. We may not full understand it, but it is there.

Prayer: Holy God, on this day help me to perceive your kingdom. I want to be a part of it. Help me to serve you today and to see you in all of creation. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

[Phillip Blackburn, First Presbyterian Church]


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