Dear friends in Christ,
This Sunday’s Gospel reading brings us the parable of the mustard seed. That will probably get most of the air time in pulpits, because if offers a powerful and compelling image of God’s kingdom. But there’s another bit in the Gospel reading that’s worth paying attention to.
Jesus talks about planting seeds, and he ends with this: “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.” This is one of several times when Jesus uses images to convey urgency in the work at hand.
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I’ve been thinking about urgency lately. Our church is spectacularly good at avoiding urgent responses. We are loathe to invite people to know Jesus, though the world clearly yearns for purpose and hope. We are resistant to recast our vision of what congregations should be doing, though the neighborhoods around our churches have clearly changed. Individually, I think many of us procrastinate our own work of spiritual renewal. I know I do.
Jesus is clear. There is a kingdom to proclaim. There are lives to transform. There is a world to save. And Jesus is clear that we followers must be about it urgently.
What keeps us from urgently responding to the call of Jesus Christ? What might our church look like if we saw that the grain is ripe and we got busy gathering in the harvest?
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