Readings and Reflections for Thursday 24 January 2019: Epiphany

Part 1of 2

AM Psalm 37:1-18; PM Psalm 37:19-42
Isa. 45:5-17; Eph. 5:15-33; Mark 4:21-34 )

“He said to them, ‘Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand?” (Mark 4:21)

Jesus is explaining to his listeners that the purpose of light is to unveil the truth.  To have light and not make good use of it can lead to trouble. I often find myself having moving through a space when it’s dark.  I keep a little pocket flashlight in my coat packet for just such occasions.  It makes all the difference when I can use it to help me see objects that I might otherwise trip over.

Now there are all kinds of light but I think what Jesus is teaching us is the light of morality.  We move through a world fraught with decisions of good or bad consequences for ourselves and others. We want to do the right thing. The light of morality allows us to see all the dangers that could cause us emotional pain. Our lesson from the teaching of Jesus serves as a light to the nations.  It is a two part light.  We replace the bulb and the batteries with the instructions about loving God and loving our neighbors.  Without this light of morality we are walking blind without eyes to see or ears to hear and are bound to trip over relational dangers causing emotional injury and heartache. Have Light in your life and use it and be well.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people.

Part 2 of 2

Mark:

“With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it” (Mark 4:33)

It is important to understand the part about “as they were able to hear it” Jesus used parables that made sense to them in order to make them understand what the kingdom of God was like, and what it was not like. 

What we need to know, is that God wants us to know, that the kingdom of God can and should be right here, right now. All we have to do is live like it is here now. That means loving each other and to quit worrying about the negatives that we have put in place.  The kingdom of God does not have human constructs like race, no such thing.  Are we able to hear this?  The kingdom of God does not have rules about who people should partner with as long as they are loving and respectful to one another.  Are we able to hear this?  We have created social constructs and placed them in the domain of the kingdom of God. Well, God is not able to hear this.

Jesus told parables about scattered seed and mustard seed. He told parables about new growth, about the unique ways in which it grows and he talked about how wide spread the growth will be.  This was the kind of talk the people could hear and understand.  The truth is that the body of Christ has already been planted and it has taken root.  We have been given beautiful seeds in a plain envelope without a picture of what the plant itself will look like.  Our job is to nurture the plants with the waters of Baptism and keep the weeds human agenda out, thus giving the seed every opportunity to grow into the full statue of Christ. In this way we will be able to hear and we will be well.

Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people.

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