Mark 4[4.26-29] Then Jesus said, “God’s kingdom is like seed thrown on a field by a man who then goes to bed and forgets it. The seed sprouts and grows—he has no idea how it happens.
Lord Jesus--With all the church growth books that I have read and the 3 simple steps sermons that I have heard, it seems like growth should be simple and direct.
Here you tell me Kingdom growth is like farming. Growth of your kingdom is like organic farming. Why is it that I would feel more comfortable if it was more like mechanics? Put the oil and gas in and start the engine and off we go. Instead, the kingdom is like a garden. There is faith in the seed or the farmer would never send the time to plant the seed in the first place.
We have succeeded in making biology more and more something that is viewed as mechanical, but in the middle of it all we know there is mystery. We know so much and yet so little at the same time. We know more about the process of seeds growing and less about The Maker of the seed than when you were here, Lord Jesus. We find ourselves knowing and loving human beings but apart from you we have no idea how we got here or why we are here, or even what that capacity of love even points toward.
The earth does it all without his help: first a green stem of grass, then a bud, then the ripened grain. When the grain is fully formed, he reaps—harvest time!
So, kingdom growth is something that takes a bit of investment of faith, waiting and participation in the process...and growth, the generative is something that is visible and traceable, but not controllable or forced. So really the point is is about green growing edges.
Where are the green growing edges in my life? Could it be a desire for your word, this process of wanting to write and communicate with you that I participate in...some of the reading that I just can't put down at this point. Those are all indications of green growing edges. How about in LSCC and in the life of the church. Where are the growing edges? Could it be in the increasing number of people who are finding places to serve and just serving without the need of being asked? Could it be in the sincere care that is being shown to those that are not honored or valued by others? Faith trusts in the One that established seed time and harvest.
This picture reminds me of the path that you want me to take. It is uphill, it is steps, it is a bit narrow and yet there is adventure to it. I don't control it, I experience it all around me. In fact the more that I try to control outcomes and impacts the more elusive my experience of your Kingdom can become. A bit like gardening has to respond to the condition, the climate, the soil, and how much water is available. With the outcome, the blessing resting in your hands where it was all along...
So I continue the journey upward and onward...a step at a time, not missing the scenery as it unfolds around me. Who knows I may find you around the next turn in the road, I remember a couple of travelers that you met on the road to Emmaus one day...
Lord Jesus--In this day that will begin in just a few hours, may my journey lead me closer to you and to the person you would have me to become.
Peterson, Eugene H. (2006-06-15). The Message Remix 2.0: The Bible In contemporary Language (pp. 1797-1798). NavPress. Kindle Edition.