30 April 2013Mark 4:26-29
“But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.” (v. 29)
This is one of Jesus' many parables linked with agriculture, and would have been ideal in a culture where many would have grown their own food, or have had knowledge of where their food comes from. This parable is about how the kingdom of God is grown by God's hand. The use of the parable explains how the kingdom of God grows through human activities. However, even with the use of a farming analogy there is an element of faith required. When the seed is planted it can be a while before the results are seen by human eyes, and even then there are external uncontrollable elements. Growing crops can be scary - it requires patience and hard work. And even within this process over which people have very little control, there is a constant need for watchfulness, regular care and hope.
We also can see that in the world there are plants that are never planted by human hands. The kingdom of heaven will grow without people's hands. God chooses to use us to grow the kingdom as we have been given responsibility to look after the earth. God has also given a similar responsibility in mission and growing the kingdom of heaven. There are situations where only God can plant seeds.
The kingdom of God may not always seem to grow quickly in our eyes, and sometimes it will grow in a manner that we may not understand. But it grows by God's power alone. It requires time, patience and steady work, however ultimately it requires having faith in the master of all creation that the kingdom will grow by God's hand, because of or in-spite of what we do.
- Where can you see the kingdom of God growing?
- How can you nurture growth in those around you?