Christian, devotion, Matthew, Mustard seed, Parable, Presbyterian Church (USA), Sowing Seed, Uncategorized, United Church of Christ (UCC)

Glimpses of Grace Daily Devotion for July 25, 2017

Devotional Reading from the Daily Common Lectionary: Mark 4:21-34

Text: (Jesus) 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 seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs.” (vss. 30-32a)

Several years ago I received a text message from a parishioner in a former parish. She ran into a friend of her now adult son. The friend went on one summer senior high mission trip with us in 2003. That trip, he said, changed his life! I’m embarrassed to say, that I don’t remember him as that was the only thing that he joined us in doing. But God knew that the trip was just what the young man needed.

There are no small events in life. As a matter of fact, often the most important events that occur in our life are things that were unplanned or even forgotten. A chance encounter leads to a new opportunity or a new life!

I believe that we can do no small acts if we live our lives to the glory of God. Everyday we sow little mustard seeds of God’s kingdom, and they spout in the most unlikeliest of places and in the most surprising ways.

Lord God, help me to never thing that something I do does not have eternal consequences. Life if too important and You are too great. Amen.

Christian, devotion, faith, Luke, Gospel of, Parable of the Sower, Presbyterian Church (USA), Sowing Seed, Uncategorized

Glimpses of Grace Daily Devotion for May 16 2017

Devotional Reading: Luke 8: 1-15

Text: He told them a parable: “A sower went out to show his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled and birds ate it, too.” (vs. 5)

Over the years I have grown to love the parable of the sower as it is found in the synoptic gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. I love it because it reminds me how I am called to be faithful not successful, at least not in ways that the world calls success. You see, the sower’s job was to sow seed. It didn’t matter what kind of soil that the seed fell upon. That responsibility fell to the Lord of the Harvest–the Maker of Heaven and Earth, the Maker of you and me. The parable is not about results but faithfulness. Are we being faithful in living a life of love and telling others about God’s love. Like the various soils, others may or may not receive the seed that we sow. We have no control over that. Our job is to sow the seed of the Kingdom and to trust God to bring forth growth.

Over the years I have found that my least memorable sermons turned out to be life changing experiences for someone else. I have also learned that an off-hand remark may be the “ah-ha” moment that God uses to flip on the Faith switch in someone’s life. Often, I don’t even remember the sermon or remark but they do, and God uses it to change a life.

We are called to be faithful not successful as the world judges success. We are called to do good as best as we can understand the good. In the words of First Peter “It is better to suffer for doing good than to suffer for doing evil.” (3:17)

So, do good. Say your prayers. Be humble and trust that God can use even the broken threads of our efforts in the tapestry of God’s Eternal Kingdom.

Lord God, help me to be faithful in the tasks that are set before me. Let me not lose heart. If I error in any of my judgments, let me error on the side of grace and goodness. Amen.

Christian, devotion, faith, Lenten Devotion, Parable of the Sower, Sowing Seed, Uncategorized

Glimpse of Grace for the Second Sunday of Lent, 2017

Devotional Reading: Mark 3: 31-4:9. Morning Psalm–84; Evening Psalm–42

Text: “Listen! A sower went out to sow.” (Mark 3: 3)

I’ve always been fascinated by the parables of Jesus. Perhaps you have, too. The thing that I discovered about Jesus’ parables is that they are mirrors reflecting not only the nature of God’s Kingdom, but where we are in life. So many times I’ve approached this parable cautioning listeners not to be like “the path”, “the rocky” ground, or the weedy” patch.  But then I realized a couple of things that I never saw before. First, soil cannot change itself. Second, only the gardener or farmer can change the nature of the soil.

Maybe the point of this parable is not the ground, per se, but the sower. Maybe Jesus is telling us that we are the sowers of the Kingdom presence. Maybe this is a parable about faithfulness; being faithful to our task.  In the parable the sower scattered seed broadly without even thinking about the soil. His job was not to judge but to simply be persistent in sowing seed.

Could it be that that  is what we are called to do, too? Maybe we need to worry less about the soil and leave that to God.

Lord God, make me slow to judge and quick to forgive. Give me the strength to be faithful in sowing the seed of Your Kingdom at all time and places. And if our words fail, let our action proclaim Your Promise. Amen.