A few weeks in a row now of seeds. Makes me want to go plant something, but it is just too darn hot.
My sisters friends, “Lost And Found” pointed out this morning that this week is a ‘two-fer’. Their songs “Multiply” and “Convinced” both fit the lectionary. It Their “Multiply” works well with the direction I’m headed. This week and next week have a lot to say about faith as something that calls us to multiplication.
Here the story of “Tricky Jacob gets Tricked”. Such a different time, where a woman was traded off as property, but also where the transaction took place in such a way that the ‘product’ could switched out at will by the ‘seller’. Guess I’m glad that we don’t practice all the rules of biblical marriage. If I had needed to do 7 years work for my father-in-law in order to marry Jennifer, I would have had to delay finishing seminary. The seven years from our engagement would have been up around 2006, and I would have been able to finish seminary somewhere around 2008.
“For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Good stuff. Don’t know that there is anything else to be said. I am still tempted at times to have the sermon consist of reading the lesson and say “Any questions? Well AMEN then.” and sit down. This text could do that. Nothing can separate… nothing.
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
But since preachers are called to preach, there is of course more to say. This weeks lesson is six rapid-fire parables. The ones I’m most interested in are the parables of the mustard seed and the yeast. A concept that I’m convinced of is that ministry that is truly missional is incapable of NOT multiplying. When the spirit of God has us outside of ourselves and in a place where discipleship points towards servanthood, it will inevitably lead to new ministries and the multiplication of faith. This will become a two part… next weeks lesson has the story of the five loaves which fed over 10,000. The central idea I’m working with is the question: “What grows from an apple tree?” The answer might not be the one you think. This first week I think I will be messing with how faith multiplies in us on an individual level, how God works to challenge us toward growth in faith.