… This is what the kingdom of heaven is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. … the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how … Mark 4:26-27 (NIV)
Come be a seed scatterer
A kingdom of heaven gatherer.
Sow seed into wide swaths of soil
For planting is the laborers toil.
Growth comes only by God’s hand
The sprouting seed not caused by man.
Who can know how a seed does grow
Where the wind of the Spirit might choose to blow?
When he comes may he find my sack
Empty of seeds upon my back.
Sown in soils where he has led
A harvest sprouting from entrusted seed heads.
“Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42
Last week someone asked if I was ready for Christmas. I said yes. This week…not so much. The last minute baking, food prep, packing for travel and that one-more-box of cards to buy leave me feeling unprepared.
With every task I check off, the to-do list only seems to grow. What happened to being ready?
Mary got it right. She focused on what mattered. She spent time with the Lord rather than bustling around with preparations. Yes, chores have to be done. But approaching the list with a fresh attitude is key.
This Christmas, I’m trying to remember to take a breather. To sit at the fit of Jesus before the preparations of the day. To listen. To pray. I want to focus on what can’t be taken away.
Lord, grant your presence. Be my calm before the day begins, remain during the hustle and bustle, and linger long after the last plate is washed and crumbs are swept.
“Again the One who looked like a man touched me and gave me strength…” Daniel 11:18
How can I be strong,
except you strengthen me.
How can I know your will,
except you speak to me.
How can I have you near,
except you dwell in me.
How can I be worthy,
except you cover me.
How can I call you Father,
except you loved me.
How can I live forever,
except you died for me.
“The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O Lord, endures forever—do not abandon the works of your hands.” Psalm 138:8
He made James faithful and John devoted,
Timothy proved loyal and Peter emoted.
Martha got it done and Mary took it in,
David grew heart-broken, and Paul determined.
He created Moses a leader and Ruth a follower,
Joseph rose a dreamer and Esther an interceder.
Each one granted a purpose to fulfill,
These heroes, the faithful, who do his will.
Each of us has a purpose to fulfill. It’s that reason to get up in the morning. May we all find it, or die searching.
“This is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” I John 4:10
Love is not based on our love for God. That foundation would be unstable at best because it’s based on human capabilities. Love is based on what God did for us. He sent his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. All other love springs from that foundation…or is it an ocean?
An ocean deep,
Is the well of God’s love—
where springs begin
and rivers flow—
it’s endless depths
no man can know.
On shores of sand
yet tides of mercy pull
and waves of grace call—
God’s ocean reverberates
for one, for all.
“Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.” I John 2:6
So, how did Jesus walk?
Jesus broke bread and fed crowds; he fried fish for his hungry friends. Jesus broke tradition and spoke with a Samaritan woman. He did not condemn one caught in adultery. Jesus put mud on a blind man’s eyes and welcomed little children. He accepted an extravagant gift of perfume and wept over a good friend’s death. Jesus dipped bread with a traitor and died for sins he didn’t commit.
That’s how Jesus walked.
He walked in humility. He served others. He fully accepted God’s call on his life. Jesus came to connect with people and provide a way to God. He became the bridge to God.
Am I a bridge to God? A connector? I wonder if others find the way to God when they see my life, or do they see barriers that send them in another direction. Would I be willing to break with tradition or muddy my hands if it meant becoming a bridge?
Lord, push barriers away, that nothing keep others from coming to you. Help me walk as you walked.
May others find their way to God
When on my path they trod.
May barriers be pushed aside—
An open bridge beckon wide.