The Holy Gospel: June 17, 2012 (Year B)

Read:  Mark 4:26-34

Meditation:  “Live With the Mystery”

The Christian life is counterintuitive.  We live in an age when we want to “know” as much as we can.  We are accustomed to asking for answers, and (most of the time) getting them.  In other words, we are patterned more for explanations than we are for mystery.

But the fact is, the Christian life is lived against the backdrop of mystery—in fact, ultimate Mystery.  And….that’s OK.  In fact, that’s the way it is.  We cannot change this, and we are not supposed to try.

Jesus is inviting us into a counterintuitive life that has two noticeable features (as shown in today’s lesson)—patience and wonder.  The sower sleeps and rises, in no hurry to rush the process of natural growth.  Patience.  We violate this when we try to “make things happen” instead of letting them happen.

The sower also doesn’t know how it all works.  And the result is wonder.  We violate this when we strive to figure it all out.  Life moves from being essentially magnificent to being efficiently manageable—which ends up meaning that we end up in control, rather than God.

Not so in the Kingdom, says Jesus.  Patience.  Wonder.  Two defining elements in the Christian life.  Two elements that move us from egotism (the false self) to authenticity (the self God intends and makes).

But this is not becoming totally passive.  Notice in the passage that the sower scatters the seed.  That’s our job—to be sure that God’s seed gets out of the bag and into the soil of our lives.  Seed everywhere.  Seed all over the place. Seed that lands in every part of our lives.

But after that, we “sleep and rise”—we are content to “not know how” it all works.  We live in the Mystery.

This is not as unusual as it first seems.  I don’t know how completely how my car runs, but I drive it.  I don’t know how my television works, but I watch it.

Jesus is saying, “Just take what you do in so many areas of your life—accepting mystery—and do it in relation to me.  If you do, a harvest will result.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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1 Response to The Holy Gospel: June 17, 2012 (Year B)

  1. Jim Bradshaw says:

    No need for revelation if there is no Mystery!

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