Welcome back to We Wonder: Lent. Long ago, Jesus said to his friends, "Come: follow me." During this season, we are following Jesus every day as we read all the way through the gospel of Mark. Today we are right in the middle of Mark 4, and Jesus has some word-pictures to help us imagine what God's kingdom is like.
Mark 4:21-34 (NIRV)
What happens to the dark corners and fuzzy shapes in your room at night when you turn on a lamp? Do things become more clear and easy to see? I wonder how Jesus's words and his actions are like a lamp lighting up a dark place?
I wonder why Jesus told his friends to pay attention and think carefully about his words? I wonder if his words are also like seeds that can put down deep roots in our hearts and grow?
Have I ever seen what a seed is doing when it is still hidden in the ground? Can I imagine a farmer's seeds slowly cracking open, pushing out little shoots, and then breaking through in a burst of green through the ground?
I wonder how God's work in the world is like that seed, hidden and quiet in the ground, growing and taking shape before we can see what it will look like in the sunshine?
When we bury seeds in the ground, sometimes it can seem like they are dry and dead. It can be hard to imagine a living plant, full of fruit; or a tall bush, full of branches and shade, coming from this small, dried up little shell. I wonder if Jesus wants us to imagine that God's good rule over our world will come in ways we sometimes can't see, or imagine, or expect?
When Jesus told these stories, he was still up in Galilee. He was far away from Jerusalem, and he was still an unimportant son of a carpenter. I wonder why simple Jesus, son of Mary and Joseph, told these stories about hidden lamps, and buried and tiny seeds?
Are there any words, or pictures, or moments from this story that I want to ask God about right now?
Are there any words, or pictures, or moments from this story that I want to take with me and hold close?
Jesus of Nazareth, son of God: thank you that we have a book filled with your words and deeds. Give us the wisdom and understanding that comes from your Holy Spirit, so that we can know you better and follow you all the days of our lives. In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.
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