For the next few weeks in worship at Calvary, we’re considering some of Jesus’ Kingdom Parables…passages in the New Testament where he compares life in the kingdom of God to everyday events or experiences. Each week a Calvary member will share some thoughts about a picture he or she took for our Modern Kingdom Parables photo gallery, and challenge the congregation to think in new ways about the biblical parable we’re studying.
Harold Ritchie, one of Calvary’s fine gardeners, shared with us in worship this week, and we enjoyed a beautiful picture of his garden, taken by Ken Jue:
I love my garden. It hasn’t always been this beautiful. When we first acquired this property some 20 years ago, trees had to be uprooted, rocks dug up, brush and bramble burned, several truck loads of top soil had to be added. And it took an infusion of saw dust to decompose and add nutrients to the existing soil. Each year, as soon as spring arrives, we plant zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, bell peppers, in addition to sowing a variety of vegetable seeds, hoping that our efforts will soon yield another beautiful vegetable garden which we love sharing with as many people as possible.
This parable of the growing seed can be interpreted and applied to the origins and growth of Christianity in the world. The principle of Christianity is divine: the Word is the seed which contains the power for spiritual life and growth when planted in the soil of a righteous heart.
God uses human instruments to spread the seed of Christianity: Pastors, ministers of the gospel, missionaries, evangelists, Sunday school teachers, Bible study leaders, and all Christians. As you well know, the great commission is for ALL of us.
Now, in reference to this parable also being known as “the parable of the spiritual vegetation,” the work of divine grace is invisible and mysterious. Night and day, the seed sprouts and grows though we don’t know how. Many of the laws of vegetation are known to man and are predictable. For example, it is understood that the seed must be decomposed, or die, and that from it, comes new life and fruit. The process is invisible, and we don’t understand precisely how this happens. Not to worry, God alone knows the process and sees its influence on the hearts and minds of its recipients. Divine truth first enlightens the mind and convicts the conscience, then come anxiety, remorse, compunction, and desire, but not everyone continues along the path.
The divine path of grace in your heart is one leading to perfect maturity. This is the divine purpose in preparing the seed to be planted, and it was also the objective of the planter. To this were added the sunshine, the rains, and the dew, all products of God’s grace. Christians who care might help to encourage and to enable the new Christian to reach maturity. Much as the farmers might add fertilizer to their crops and do all within their power to prevent the insects from destroying it. This parable teaches us to trust and hope in the power of the Word of God. Now comes the “goody” part. The reward. This is what it’s all about:
As soon as the grain is ripe, it’s harvest time. The mature Christians, who have fulfilled their mission, and borne the fruit of their usefulness, can anticipate a home in glory.
Now…are you sowing the seed of the Kingdom, both in the world, and in your own life as well? Have you contemplated your heavenly rewards, renewed your soul, and elevated your desire?
THINK ON THESE THINGS.
THANKS BE TO GOD.