Pastor John's Daily Briefing - 4/27/2020

Pastor John's Daily Briefing - 4/27/2020

To all the faithful, may the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you, now and forever.


Jesus began his ministry, proclaiming, "The Kingdom of God has come near (or:is at hand). Repent and believe the good news." This proclamation stirred the thoughts and actions of many: just what does this Kingdom of God represent? What does it look like? Where is it to be found? Whom does it involve? How does one participate in or within it? 


For much of the time when talking about the Kingdom of God, Jesus spoke about its mysterious and powerful character that transforms our world, our lives, often relaying its message in the form of parables, thought-provoking and challenging in their applications. In the 4th chapter of Mark's Gospel, Jesus shared two Kingdom of God parables, relating to God's powerful and mysterious activity in our world using the image of seed growing and producing apart from human activity and another speaking to the Kingdom's magnificence and majesty from the smallest of beginnings, that like a mustard seed.


In Mark 4:26-27, Jesus shares, "The Kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how." Now certainly, we are able to biologically speak to the science of seed growth and maturity. But that is not quite the point of the parable which asserts the initiative and the primacy of God's activity in our world; that is, God's will being done apart from the mere scattering of human effort. God will see to growth and productivity, the ripeness of His will and purpose, reaching a harvest beyond our imaginations. God's creation receives the fruit of God's generosity.


And in Mark 4:30-32, Jesus shares, "With what can we compare the Kingdom of God...? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade." Even from small beginnings and minute stature,  God's activity achieves a greatness of gigantic proportions, providing sustenance, shelter, and nourishment for the abundance of life. God's will is directed to the benefit of God's creation, enabling a world blossoming into fullness of will and purpose, of communion and endurance.


Even in this time of the many uncertainties brought about in the COVID-19 viral pandemic, our faith guides us to the truth that the Kingdom of God has come near. God is with us in and through our Lord Jesus Christ in the movement of the Holy Spirit, and nothing can or will be able to thwart God's will being done, a will suggestive of magnificence and majesty, of abundance of provision and continuing care, of grace and love, of hope and flourishing.


Grace and peace to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. Give thanks, stay safe, remember with compassion your sisters and brothers in Christ. Pastor John