Read: Mark 4:1-41
Centering Verse: But they have no root, and endure only for a while; then, when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately they fall away. (Mark 4:17)
- How is the soil of your soul?
- Why would Jesus use parables to teach the crowds, especially when they had a difficult time understanding the message?
- What do you hear from God in these parables?
- How might Jesus bring calm to the storms of your life?
Perhaps the greatest threat to Christianity today is shallowness. We cannot ride emotional highs all the way to a deeply rooted relationship with God. Consistency and spiritual discipline are the core competencies of discipleship. Just as with any human relationship, our relationship with God requires an investment of time, interest, and openness to the other – in this case, a Holy Other. If we were to look honestly at our spiritual investment, we would see that there are so many other, unimportant things to which we dedicate that time, interest, and openness. Personally, as Christians we need to clear out the distractions and focus ourselves more intently on Christ. It was the only way people were going to fully understand the teachings of Jesus during his earthly ministry. Notice how he tells the parables to everyone, but only shares the meaning with those who choose to get close to him – i.e., those who are willing to wrestle with the difficult, but rewarding, truths expressed in the parables. The return on this investment is a fruitful life, filled with the things that really matter.
LORD God, who rules the seas and the winds and all elements of creation, bring all things under your shalom rule. May we bear witness to your reign over heaven and earth. Amen.