Sunday July 26, 2020

Proper 12

Genesis 29:15-28; Romans 8:26-39; Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52

These are just three that have had an impact on us this year, but certainly not all. I’m sure if I asked each one of you, you would have a list of problems as well. So how do we address these? The answer is simple, we must become active in our local, state, and federal governments actions by affirming them when they are successful in addressing problems and calling them down, when they fail to even lift a finger to address the problems. I can tell you that my governmental representatives get email and yes even slow mail, from me on issues that are meaningful to me. I have been placed on several teleconferences whereby my representatives sit in and listen to me and everyone one else on what needs to happen. Remember C.S. Lewis’ quite: “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” Let our efforts be an example to others of how working together, we can accomplish some amazing things, but we have to try. Hatred and rioting has only caused hard feelings, love will work wonders, if we want to truly meet these challenges and make a difference. Amen

The picture above contains a heart shaped glass container, with one mustard seed inside. The seed is approximately the size of a 1/16 of an inch or the size of a dull pencil’s lead. Pat and I found it in a small shop in Savannah, Georgia and they specialize in jewelry with biblical roots. As you can easily see, the seed is very tiny; yet it will become the dominant plant in the garden and even becoming a tree, so that even the birds may fly up its branches to rest and even nest.

Jesus used the symbol of the mustard seed to represent the church, that in spite of small beginnings, the kingdom grows to enormous significance. Worldly success standards do not apply to the kingdom, as it grows as God chooses. Jesus often spoke in parables to describe the nature of the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is not a man planting seed, but the kingdom may be compared to such ordinary human events. This parable emphasizes the preset and future aspect of the kingdom. The seed seed now growing in preparation for the harvest illustrates the present aspect of the kingdom. The harvest pictures the future aspect of the kingdom. At that time the true character of all people will be revealed and judged. Meanwhile, God’s church represents God’s kingdom present on earth, not as a separate isolated group, but as God’s people living in the midst of evil people influenced by Satan.

God is well aware that some reject and some accept His revelation. He wishes to give every opportunity for acceptance but cannot ignore the difference between following Him (the useful wheat) and not following (weeds). Those who follow His revelation are productive and useful, while those who do not will eventually be set aside as wasted products.

Jesus’ practice of teaching in parables fulfilled prophecy. He quoted Psalm 78:2, “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter hidden things from of old.” This was an introduction to a wisdom psalm teaching lessons from God’s history with His people. Matthew saw the deeper prophetic meaning of Scripture in the light of Jesus, revealing that Jesus gives new perspective for the interpretation of all revelation.

The kingdom of God may appear invisible. That does not mean God is not working. God works quietly and continuously to bring His kingdom on earth. Gradually the people of he kingdom influence every part of society. In the end God will establish His kingdom and eliminate all others.

Jesus then moved on to another parable, that of the hidden treasure and the pearl. God’s revelation in Jesus brought God’s kingdom to earth, forcing commitment for or against it. Commitment to the kingdom means willingness to sacrifice all possessions to be part of God’s controlling reign on earth. Beloved, no greater joy can come to persons that to become citizens of God’s government. That is part of what it means to be saved.

The kingdom of God is the ultimate value in life. Nothing compares with the joy, fulfillment, and significance of serving Christ. We must be ready to surrender everything which has worth to us so we may be part of God’s kingdom.

C. S. Lewis, a twentieth century novelist, poet and theologian, was once quoted as saying,“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less.” In our individual walks of faith, in all that we believe and all that we profess, may we truly reflect upon thinking of ourselves less and thinking more of what God is asking and expecting from each one of us.

As the head of of the family cares for his family with new and old goods, the Christian teacher (and every believer) must draw on the old truths of Israel’s faith and the new message of Jesus Christ. Both Testaments contain the truths of God. Neither should be neglected. Both point to the kingdom of God present in Jesus.

Christian teachers are instructed in the lore of he Kingdom. As such, they combine the riches of their knowledge of Old Testament Scripture with the new interpretations taught by the Master. Christian teachers are challenged as in previous times, to find new ways to communicate these ageless truths, as each successive generation faces unique challenges.

Let me close with this thought, if every generation has its own unique challenges, would you say the current atmosphere is unique for us? The pandemic is certainly a challenge, but so is the outcry for equal justice for all. Do you think we have achieved this goal? I think in some states significant changes have begun, but certainly not all. I think there are many law enforcement officers who are dedicated to public service, but a much smaller group are making it difficult for the overall to do their jobs, because of a variety of problems that should have been addressed a long time ago.

I have worked in prison ministry for many years and seen the disparaging numbers of people of color who are in prison versus whites. Most of those I have worked with will honestly tell you they were convicted rightly for their crimes, but the numbers of inmates reveals a clear difference in how the law is applied to those who can afford good attorney’s and those who cannot.

5 thoughts on “Meditation

  1. Very thoughtful, of our current culture, Jerry. Yes! Please keep communicating with our elected officials. They need to hear from sane and wise people. Thank you and thanks be to God, this day, this hour, this minute for His revelation through Jesus Christ. Ruthie




    1. I used to listen to my father complain, but do nothing. It was probably the best lesson he ever taught me, because I refused to sit back and not speak out on the issues that touch my life and of those around me. I have often said, “they may not know what most of their constituents feel about issues, but whether they like my position of not, they know what my position is! I’m on three different focus groups for one congressman and two senatorial officeholders, because I’m willing to speak first with passion on my stance, but also because others don’t feel it makes a difference. So, I share my thoughts on many different types of issues, hoping that those who cannot or will not speak will have a voice. Thanks for you comments.


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