The Slow and Secret Kingdom Growth

Well…how did/do you like the one service idea for the summer?  K said to me “It’s hot, it’s crowded, and I LOVE it!”  That made me happy.  D said “I was so hot it was almost distracting.”  That made me less happy, but concerned about people’s experiences.  We did have an issue with the air conditioners not coming on early enough…so lets hope this week is a little cooler.  Let me hear your thoughts if you have any on this subject.

sower_with_setting_sunThis Sunday we’ll be looking at the Parable of the Sower in Luke 8:1-15 .

It’s a story that Jesus tells which causes us to normally focus on the types of soil that the seed of God’s word gets planted into.  What type of soil am I, hard like pavement,  stony (as in covered with rocks, not being stoned…c’mon!) or full of weeds, or good soil that is receptive to God’s word.  That’s a legitimate way to consider this story…but this Sunday I want to look at an underlying message in this parable.   A message about HOW the kingdom of God is being advanced on this planet.

As you read this, what do you think is the all important factor to having a crop…that is, to having people accepting the rule of God over their lives and the difference that makes?  Why do you think Jesus doesn’t explain who the “sower” is?  What do we learn about the efforts of the sower, and the control he has over the situation?  Things to think about before we cram together this Sunday!

3 comments

  1. I suppose you could say that a church is a like a greenhouse where, even when the weather outside is too cold or too dry, tender young plants can be nurtured to maturity, shielded from the elements, and protected from weeds and scavengers.

    And I notice there’s no greenhouse in this parable.

  2. So we are the soil. I always kind of thought that we were the seeds and are thrown out into this world to grow. Some find a place in good soil (maybe a good and nuturing family), some fell by the wayside and were devoured by birds (maybe a broken or uncaring family) and other fell on rocks (Like those born in housing projects), etc.

    But looking at it this way makes more sense especially from God’s point of view. After all, when it rains and shines it does on the evil just as the good. That seed is always given every chance to grow. Reminds me that it is Jesus’s view of the parable and not mine that is important. (Guess it really isn’t necessary to add to or take from the words of God).

    For some reason I was thinking about the weeds I keep trying to kill inbetween the concrete in my driveway. I can do all that I want, but they still have a desire to break though and live. Could that be like the rule of God in our lives. This world is always trying to rid us of the rules of God, but like it or not, it breaks through and wants to live.

    “I planted, Appollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.”

  3. Hey peeps! I haven’t been on wonderwhat in a (very) long time, but I’m going to make some efforts to be a more regular part of the discussion here as I have been on twitter recently. I think these kind of communication mediums can be an awesome outlet for our community.

    “Well…how did/do you like the one service idea for the summer?” I loved it. You could turn the heater on and I would be fine with it. I saw several people talking with one another afterwards who normally attend opposite services. I don’t think it is logistically feasible to do it year round, but for a couple months of traditionally low attendance I love it.

    “As you read this, what do you think is the all important factor to having a crop…that is, to having people accepting the rule of God over their lives and the difference that makes?” I think the titles you gave to the previous section, ‘Honoring Christ (Without Being a Religious Jerk)’, and this section ‘The Slow and Secret Kingdom Growth’ provide a nice framework into this answer. By honoring Christ lovingly and un-jerkly, we secretly advance the kingdom. Our job is to love people. The example we set to the world both individually and as a corporate church has the potential to, although slowly and secretly, make monumental impacts on both individuals we are associated with and also with the world large.

    “Why do you think Jesus doesn’t explain who the “sower” is?” Ummm, I sort of disagee with you here Rob (in a loving and un-jerkly way of course). Matthew in his re-telling says that ‘the one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man.’ (13:37). So the sower would be Jesus and by extension those who follow him today… I think? The fact that it seems obvious to me, yet you ask it gives me a great deal of curiosity as to what might be your take on it. After all, I’m sure you are aware of what Matthew says and you are far more intelligent than I am, so I’m stoked with anticipation for your insight.

    “What do we learn about the efforts of the sower, and the control he has over the situation?” This one is interesting. The bottom-line answer is that someone’s decision of faith is in that person’s hands. However, precluding a decision of faith there are decisions made by myself or by the church that could radically change their perception of the gospel. If we are loving and in tune with God’s will (un-jerkly) then we may have a deeper positive impact, which could sway someone’s decision of faith… unless you’re a Calvinist.

    I see this as a parable loaded with many correct interpretations. I’m interested to see what you have to say about “HOW the kingdom of God is being advanced on this planet.” I don’t think it’s being done to the best of our abilities.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s