Friday, June 12, 2009

Like a Mustard seed

Mark 4:26-34

He also said, "The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come." He also said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade."With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

An image comes to mind every time I read this parable. Have you ever seen one of those time-lapse films of a plant growing and expanding out of the earth. It seems as if time is shooting by because first you have only soil, then a sprout, then a stem and leaves, and it gets larger faster and before you know it you have this amazing plant before you. With time-lapse photography we get to see all the stages of growth in a very short amount of time. I think that Jesus chose wisely with this parable because the kingdom of God is among us, entering into this world, but at a pace quite unlike time-lapse. It is arriving at a slow pace. Every time a person hears the good news message of Jesus, the kingdom advances. Every time a person receives the grace of God, the kingdom advances. It's our job as children of God to further the Kingdom by sharing the good news of Christ Jesus.

Gracious God, help me to be brave enough to share your good news with others. Amen

Pastor Joel Martyn

Hope Lutheran Church of the Sierra

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Walk by Faith

2 Corinthians 5:7

5:7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.

One of the hardest things for us human beings to do, is to trust. Trust is opening ourselves to hurt, to pain, to being disappointed and bewildered. And that's just trying to trust other people. Trusting God is on a whole other level. Not only are we opening ourselves up to hurt and pain and making ourselves vulnerable, but we're making ourselves vulnerable to that which we cannot see, feel, touch, smell...That's a difficult thing to do. Yet when we do make ourselves vulnerable in this relationship with God, when we begin to trust God, joy and happines and peace begin to enter in and life's troubles seem less dificult to walk in. Trusting doesn't have to equal pain. The hardest part of trusting is taking that leap into vulnerability.

Gracious God, help me to trust in you. Amen.

Pastor Joel Martyn
Hope Lutheran Church of the Sierra

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

All things have become new!

Face Time with God 6/11/09

2 Corinthians 5:17

5:17 So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!

Everything has become new! What glorious news. It means that the creative redeeming work that Christ did for us on the cross was not just for those around him, or for the elite of society, or for only the poor and outcast and lonely...It was done for all of creation. All of creation has been made new under Christ. Creation is no longer groaning under the weight of our sin. We are no longer under the power of sin or death. It's time to shout out this good news to those around us, because they too fall under this newness in Christ Jesus. They too deserve to hear and know and understand what God has done for them. Christ Jesus has taken this corrupt world and transformed it into His image. Death has lost it's sting. Sin no longer rules. Christ Jesus is the victor. Hallelujah!

Gracious and redeeming Christ, thank you for making me a new person. A new creation. Continue to walk with me through this day and help me to share this gospel message. Amen.

Pastor Joel Martyn
Hope Lutheran Church of the Sierra