The Parable of the Seed

We are familiar with the parable of the sower, which is in fact about the soil, but Jesus also told a parable about the seed. In Mark’s gospel we read:

 “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.”

Mark 4:26-29
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The Year That Was

Here we are once again at the end of one year and standing on the precipice of the next. This transition from what has been to what will be, gives us the opportunity for reflection – to look back on the year that was and try to make some sense of it. Where has God been at work? What have we learned that we can carry with us into the coming year?

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At the Sinners Table

The teachers of the law couldn’t believe it. As they were passing by Levi’s house, they noticed a crowd had gathered inside and were sharing a meal together. It was a crowd of “those people” – tax collectors, thieves, prostitutes and the like. Habitual sinners who had abandoned loyalty to the nation of Israel and were ignorant of the religious laws. The teachers of the law shook their heads in disapproval and were about to continue on their way when they noticed some of Jesus’ disciples mixed in among those crowded around Levi’s table. When they did a double take, they caught sight of Jesus himself, sitting next to the tax collector. Their eyes grew as wide as dinner plates and they looked at one another in disbelief. What was Rabbi Jesus doing in the company of sinners? Didn’t he care about his reputation? Didn’t he realize these people were spiritually unclean?

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Smelling the Roses

Well, I guess Covid is here to stay awhile. Back in March it was hard to imagine that this virus would still be dominating our lives the way it has. It’s also interesting how certain things have become so normal, for better or for worse, and how we have adapted to the new situation. Here in Queretaro we are experiencing a second wave of sorts and we are set to return back to the highest risk level. I’m not sure what that means in terms of locking things down again, but it certainly doesn’t look like things will improve anytime too soon. That means more mask-wearing and more guilty feelings for standing too close to someone. It means more stores shutting down and parks closing. And more watching church from home and missing family and friends. More uncertainty.

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Why Is Jesus Taking So Long?

I’d rather not wait for the return of Jesus Christ. When Christ returns, he promises to make all things new – perfect and without defect. That means I’ll never have to fight against my own sin ever again. I’ll have a new, perfectly functioning body. It means there will be no more poverty, no more abuse, no more weapons of war, no more pollution, no more sin. I don’t want to wait for that.

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By Word and By Deed

Sergio arrived at nine. I opened the door, greeted him, and then ran back inside to grab my bag and keys. Five minutes later we are bumping along the cobblestone streets with a van full of dried goods. Sergio sits in the passenger’s seat reviewing the list of names he has written down in his worn-out notebook. He doesn’t say much and I can the see the weight of worry in his eyes.

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The Coming Flood

In his second letter, Peter spends considerable time refuting false teachings within the church. Peter is concerned for the health of the church and wants to see Christians growing in faith and godliness. False teachers are a threat because they distort the truth, which in turn leads to faulty thinking and ungodly behavior. One of the lies the false teachers were propagating was the thinking that Christ would not return as he had promised. They pointed out that Christ had said he was coming soon, and soon had already passed.

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