God has place this wonderful creation in our hands. As U2 sings, "It's a beautiful day, don't let it slip away." We have this one life to live on this beautiful planet so enjoy these reflections on God, faith, life, and music. "After the flood all of the colors came out. It's a beautiful day."

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Listen


            The Call to Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark, Day 20


4Again he began to teach beside the lake. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the lake and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the lake on the land. 2He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: 3‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. 6And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. 7Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 8Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.’ 9And he said, ‘Let anyone with ears to hear listen!’
10 When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. 11And he said to them, ‘To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables; 12in order that “they may indeed look, but not perceive, and may indeed listen, but not understand; so that they may not turn again and be forgiven.” ’  13 And he said to them, ‘Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables?14The sower sows the word. 15These are the ones on the path where the word is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the word that is sown in them. 16And these are the ones sown on rocky ground: when they hear the word, they immediately receive it with joy. 17But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. 18And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the word, 19but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. 20And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.’  Mark 4:1-20
       Listen - a sower went out to sow. The seed, the word is spread far and wide to those who hear and those who don't listen. To those who hear and follow for a moment, to those who hear are changed forever and begin to sow their own seeds to all. The sower is extravagant in sowing, never knowing where and for how long the seed will take root.
       Listen the Sower went out to sow the seed and the seed fell on the path and the birds came and ate it up. There are people who have every opportunity to hear the word. The scribes and pharisees, the religious folk have been to dinner with Jesus, have heard him teaching in the synagogue and yet they are unable to hear and experience the word and the dawning kingdom. They from the beginning question the activities of Jesus and begin plotting his destruction. So listen - a sower went out and sowed some seed along the paths and the birds came and devoured it.  
       Listen - a sower went out to sow some seed, the seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. There are people who receive the word with joy but they have no root so they endure for a moment. When trouble comes they fall away, when persecution comes they run away. Peter, James, John, and Andrew. You are so excited by the word you jump up and follow, so quickly without thought. And yet... The waters will be troubled. You begin to wonder about the teaching. You begin to lose faith. When trouble comes, when Jesus is arrested - you run away, you deny you know him, you loose your courage. Listen - a sower went out to sow some seed, the seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil.  
       Listen - a sower went out to sow - the seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. There are people who hear the word but the cares of the world, the delight in riches, the call of fame, the desire for other things enter and choke out the kingdom. There is a moment when a rich man comes to Jesus and asks how to achieve eternal life. They talk about loving God and loving neighbor and then Jesus looks at him with sadness and says you have to give up everything you own. The man couldn't do it. He walked away. Listen - a sower went out to sow - the seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. 
        Listen - a sower went out to sow - the seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold. Jesus encounters people, who he forgives, who he heals, he tells them to resume life and then he says don't say anything. But these people who have been transformed go out and share their story of encountering God and spread the word. They speak everywhere of what God has done. Listen - a sower went out to sow - the seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.
        Let anyone who has ear hear.

Prayer Practice: 
I invite you to read the passage slowly. Listen for that place where the words just seem to stick. Where a word or image stays with. Spend time in quiet with that word or image. Let God speak through this passage. Ask God what you need to learn or do. Amen.  

Seeds in the Ground by Jeff Pianki

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