Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sunday, June 21, 2009

This Sunday is Father's Day. It is a little sad for me that my daughter Bethany has to work 12-5, so she will miss the traditional Father's Day lunch. She will come over for games and festivities after she gets off work.
This Sunday we continue our study in Mark, with Mark 4.1-20, the Parable of the Sower. Jesus often told parables--stories with a spiritual lesson behind them. This is one of those stories.
The worship bulletin is here.
In this passage, the people listening did not understand the point of his story. In order to explain why he spoke in parables, Jesus quotes from Isaiah 6.9-10:
And he said, “Go and say to this people: ‘Keep listening, but do not comprehend; keep looking, but do not understand.’ Make the mind of this people dull, and stop their ears, and shut their eyes, so that they may not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and comprehend with their minds, and turn and be healed.”

Bible scholars point out that in Hebrew literature, consequence is often portrayed as purpose. In other words, God did not want the people to not understand his word, he was pointing out to Isaiah that the people WOULD misunderstand his message. Jesus, in quoting this passage, is saying that just as the people in Isaiah's day misunderstood his message, so the crowds misunderstood Jesus' message. But Jesus explained it to his disciples. Why? Why explain it to the disciples and not everyone? It seems that to really understand what Jesus is saying, you need to commit to being a follower first. It's sort of like in The Matrix when Morpheus promises Neo that he will have the answers he is seeking if he takes the blue pill(is it the blue pill?), and if not, he can just go on with life as is.
Why does it take a conscious choice? Why does it take effort? v11 “To you has been given the secret..." Why? Because they had left all to follow him. They had demonstrated their dedication. They had made the effort. Are you a casual follower? Or a committed disciple? Commitment is more important than comprehension. You can't wait until you understand everything and have all your questions answered. This makes the prayer "Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief." sound a lot better.

I Followed the Crowd

A few days ago Twitter was all-a-twitter with people rejoicing that they got their new Facebook urls. I didn't even know what they were talking about. I did know that it is a weakness (maybe a strength, depending on how much you like your privacy) that you cannot view someone's Facebook unless YOU sign up for Facebook. Now you can. Facebook allows you to pick your url and then anyone can type in the address and go to your Facebook.
Mine is

I'm Back!

Sorry I've been away for so long! Very busy times!