Membership Without Cost – Reflection for 16 JUL 2017
You are well acquainted with me asking ‘so what’ and Jesus answers that question for the disciples in the parable of the sower, but what does that look like in today’s world. I immediately hear, ‘but I am not being fed.’ I will go somewhere else and the somewhere else winds up being the golf course, shopping, t.v., or sleeping or cleaning the garage. You can’t help but wonder how the individual even managed to find their way into a church, but maybe they didn’t. They could have been caught up in the excitement of a crusade, or a large gathering. They sense the excitement and want to be a part it until it looks like they may have to do something.
Then you have those that are like the hill country, rocky and thorny with a minimal amount of soil or water. They found a church and the pastor is a great speaker, but he retired and the new guy is not as good at telling stories. After a short period of time they lose interest and move on from the church altogether, there just isn’t the same without pastor so and so. The music just doesn’t move me. Besides the t.v. has just run a whole series on how religious leaders are milking their congregations for thousands of dollars. Did you read the articles that says religion is all myth with no proof of anything, I am not sure I want to be identified with them. My friend practices scientology or something and is doing very well for themselves.
Plants that grow have to work at growing. They need to be receptive to leaving behind the hard shell of the seed that has provided comfort and security for them. When the water comes they allow the water to seep into their shell and expose the core, the essence, of the seed. This essence reaches out for the nutrition in the soil and begins to grow. Soon there are roots going out and a stalk starts to emerge from the soil and behold a leaf reaches out to the sun for its life giving rays. Growth starts and the other seeds nearby provide support and protection for the seed as it also extends itself to encourage and protect other new seedlings.
The Word of God can break into our shells so that we can grow and develop as heirs of the kingdom. This growth is the immersion into God’s holy word, supported by teaching, enriching, uplifting support of the community. Growth takes place in the community of believers. Believers teaching other believers. Always the focus in this growth is not me, but God. God is the focus of the teaching. Jesus is the means to understand and be in relationship with the Father. The Holy Spirit enables us to pursue the worship of God, the study of God, the community of God. It is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit that grow us up into the kingdom and life. Paths and rocks and thorns are easier and require next to no work, but life in the fullness of God requires effort. Where do you live? Paths, rocks, thorns, or fertile soil.