Mark 4:21-29 (NIV)
He said to them, “Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don’t you put it on its stand? For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”
“Consider carefully what you hear,” he continued. “With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”
He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
In these two parables, Jesus reminds us to consider the Word, to nourish its growth, and to demonstrate its place in our lives daily.
On Sunday mornings we gather at Lewinsville to hear the Word read, explained, and illustrated by Pastors Scott, Annamarie, and Jen. We leave with uplifted hearts, encouraged to go out into the world and apply our faith. Then comes Monday morning. One child has misplaced his homework; one wants to wear her missing favorite shirt; and one needs a permission slip signed for today’s field trip. Aargh! Traffic on the way to work is rerouted because of a broken water main. When we arrive, late, we find an email from the boss saying she needs that report by tomorrow! The glow of Sunday morning has grown dimmer.
Now I hope that none of us gets hit with all these roadblocks in one day, but you get the idea of how the world can rub the shine off our faith. So what to do about it? Recall what lifted us up on Sunday – the Word read and shared. In his letter to the new church, James compares the Word to a mirror in which we see our true selves. If we don’t act on that knowledge – apply it in our everyday lives – we forget what we look like and who we are. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews compares the Word to food, saying that we must grow mature and feed on solid food. So just hearing a sermon on Sunday morning isn’t enough. We need to read the Word on our own every day and be in community with our brothers and sisters regularly to nourish the faith that Word has implanted in us. Only then can we go into the world to demonstrate the difference God makes in our lives.
Father, we are incredibly grateful for your Word in our lives. Nudge us daily to remind us to feed on that Word and to nourish our faith in Christian community so that our lamp may shine in the darkness of the world around us. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.