Sovereign Lord, from Your Word remind me I am not caught in the grip of circumstances, but secure in Your hands.
Read MARK 4:21-34
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“In God’s world … the last word does not belong to vicious ideologies but rather to the One who tenderly holds our history in his hands” (Archbishop Desmond Tutu).
At least once a day, and often more frequently, I pray the Lord’s Prayer. I find considerable personal meaning in praying daily, “Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth,” for it expresses a deep yearning within my heart. Confronted over and over again by the suffering inflicted upon so many people because of humanity’s inhumanity, I long for God’s will to be done on earth. Acutely aware of my own shortcomings, I long to imitate God more closely in the way I love and relate to others. (Eph. 5:1-2). I long to see an end to environmental vandalism which, fueled by greed and an idolatrous materialism, is doing great harm to God’s creation.
Can you identify with these longings? If so, allow these parables of the kingdom (26-29, 30-34) to bring you hope and encouragement, for surely bringing this hope was Jesus’ intention in telling the disciples these stories. Many who had initially sought and followed Jesus became discouraged early in his ministry and turned away (John 6:66). These two kingdom parables were intended to reassure the remaining disciples that “the kingdom will continue to grow inexorably, though sometimes almost invisibly, and that at the end of the age the kingdom will come into all its fullness” (Craig Blomberg). The parable of the growing seed assures us that the establishment of God’s rule on earth is fundamentally his doing, not ours, even though we are amazingly called to be his co-workers in this staggering enterprise. The parable of the mustard seed tells us that no matter how unpromising that enterprise may sometimes seem, it will not be overwhelmed; its consummation is guaranteed. Take heart: what Jesus has begun, he will complete. In our darkest moments of disenchantment we can and must believe what seems unbelievable.
Think upon the fact that the time is coming, is indeed on its way even now, when all weeping will be over and distress ended—replaced by joy and delight (Rev. 21:1-4).
Lord of lords, I want to sing hallelujah today! You shall reign forever and ever. I declare You King of kings. One day Your kingdom will rule.