If he speaks to you in parables

Mark 4:26-34

This is what the kingdom of God is like:

The mystery seeds became Cosmos.

The mystery seeds became Cosmos.

I planted seeds early last spring, not knowing what, if anything, would emerge; trusting there was life in the seeds that time, soil and water would tend. I looked each morning to see if there was any sign of a plant emerging. Day after day, I’d take my walk and check on the site, nothing. I began to doubt the process, yet each morning I looked. And one morning a green little sprout appeared. Was it the flower I had planted or a weed volunteered from the rest of the garden? I watched and noticed there was a row of such sprouts emerging from the spot I had planted the seeds. I let them grow as they needed. It’s a mystery, this seed becoming a plant and sporting flowers that brought beauty and fragrance to my garden. All I can do is plant, stand back and let it happen. And then cut the blossoms when they are ready.

A tiny little seed that has the potential to grow into a vast shrub. Like those rose of sharons that emerge all over the place. They are so prolific, unchecked they would become a forest of shrubs.

Your kingdom is a mystery, a word, an action, small in itself, yet has within it the power to explode into life. Your kingdom mysteriously grows and provides food, beauty and provision. Let your kingdom come!

“AS they were able to hear it. BUT privately to his own disciples he explained everything.” Be his disciple, obey his word, follow him and they will be explained.

What’s in it for me?

Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Luke 6:37,38

“What’s in it for me?” is often the primary concern of humankind. We ask, “How will this proposal benefit me and the ones I love?” Jesus, the wise teacher, understands this part of human nature, so he continues his instruction on becoming his follower with this enticement – You don’t want to be judged or condemned, do you? Then don’t judge or condemn. You want to be forgiven and receive good, don’t you? Then forgive and you’ll receive good things.

Jesus knows us so well, he uses even our selfishness to move us toward the Kingdom.

Jack and I after running the Race for the Cure (I'm a breast cancer survivor)

Jack and I after running the Race for the Cure (I’m a breast cancer survivor)

When I began running, it was with the goal of impressing my fiancee and getting in shape, not a very noble motivation, in fact, very me-centered. Over the years since I began this practice, it’s true, my relational and physical well-being have benefitted, but my motivation has shifted, now I run for the enjoyment and challenge of it. The discipline of running has made me a runner.

Practice not judging or condemning others, even if it’s imperfect in it’s motivation and you will become one who accepts others without condemnation. The more you offer forgiveness and good to others, the greater your capacity to receive forgiveness and recognize goodness.

He also told them a parable: “Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit? A disciple is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully qualified will be like the teacher. Luke 39,40

Bernard of Clairvoux said, “What we love we shall grow to resemble.” Attach yourself to Jesus, let him be your teacher, he will not lead you into a pit. He knows the path and will guide you. Humbly, and imperfectly follow Jesus. Fix your eyes on him, mimic him, ask Jesus to make you “fully qualified and like him.”