Lent Day 10: Mark 4:21-34

Mark 4:21-34

Lamps and Light

The Gospel author writes in today’s reading that lamps are clearly meant to illuminate rooms. As a sort of wink and nudge to the reader, who has (by this point) heard the kingdom kept secret in many ways, Jesus’s words are highlighted: “what is hidden is meant to be disclosed.” The Gospel writer will continue laying out the message of the Kingdom of God as a Secret, but also continue to reveal why it’s meant to be revealed.

By Ed Yourdon - originally posted to Flickr as Let me tell you a secret, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9181997

More Seeds

After having just discussed seeds (in yesterday’s reading), the Gospel continues with seed parables. First there is a reminder that, though all of the growth is hidden beneath the surface, a farmer does not grow seeds. We can, of course, take this in many directions. Might this be a declaration about how little we have to do with our own salvation? Maybe, but Jesus states he’s talking about the Kingdom of God. While salvation is part of it, the Kingdom is much bigger and broader. Instead, think of the farmer. Farmers do not grow a crop. True they work hard, often long hours. They water, they cultivate, they prune if need be. Yet they cannot force a seed to grow. It’s an interesting dynamic.

Jesus reminds us that’s like the kingdom of God. You can try to cultivate and create an environment conducive to God’s kingdom, but it is not your job to bring it about. And God is working it. From such a small start into something unimaginably big.

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