1 Samuel 15:34-16:13; Psalm 20; (or Ezekiel 17:22-24; Psalm 92:1-4, 11-14); 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, (11-13), 14-17; Mark 4:26-34
“There is a future that is created by God, and much bigger than our own efforts.” – Richard Rohr
It is obvious that no one person can do everything. What is not obvious is that we should not, and are not expected to do everything. Some things are better left to mystery. Sometimes we need to sit back and just see what happens. What is better left to mystery is greater when we have hands off. Today’s Gospel tells of the scattered seed that grows and sprouts, and the farmer does not know how this happens (Mark 4:27). He may water, but basically the growth is a mystery. Well, scientists today are able to explain how it happens. But that’s beside the point. This is not about wheat. It’s about the reign (kingdom or queendom) of God. The sway (kingdom influence) of God is not other worldly. It is always here and now. Therefore, on the other hand, we are indeed speaking of corn or alfalfa or wheat, and much more. We may know today “how” crops grow. But why do they grow? What does it mean? Science is big on how, but short on meaning and value and purpose. We are surrounded by mystery. Things happen in our lives without our efforts, or our understanding. Why do we have the people in our lives that we care for? Why does anyone love us? That’s just how the kingdom of God works. Science can explain how babies are made. But why is it that there is “this” baby, this person. The mother labored. But “this” baby is a mystery. Why did we not die in our last auto accident? What mustard seed was poignantly planted in our souls as we walked away from the car leaving our family dead? Living in the kingdom of God requires us to accept ambiguity, accept that we are not always in control; and then step off the ledge of mystery. Are there really any accidents in life? (See Carl Jung’s teaching on synchronicity) When we live in mystery we are truly living in the fullness of life, the kingdom of God.
Mark 4:28 speaks of the head or ear of grain or corn. The Greek word for ear or head is elsewhere a proper name. In Romans 16:9 Paul refers to his beloved “Stachys.” In Greek it is the exact same word. Paul’s friend is Mr. Corn Head.
As I sleep grain grows.
As mustard seed small to see.
Bigger far than I.