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Pentecost Two

June 14, 2009

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Second Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 6)
14 June 2009

St. Mark 4:26-34

When the Lord does a kingdom of God it comes as a big surprise.  Who would have thought the kingdom of God on the earth would look like this:  God taking on human flesh?  Born of a virgin?  Betrayed?  Abandoned?  Hated?  Arrested?  Beaten?  Suffering a horrific cruciform death at the hands of the Romans?  Buried in an empty tomb?  

But on that cross Jesus is king!  Sets up His kingdom!  His reign on the earth.  Jesus reigns among sinners on Good Friday as the Savior.  The history of the universe climaxes when Jesus is grave yard dead – taking the world’s and your sin in His body to bury it in the black hole of His tomb. 

Behold the kingdom of God!  When Jesus is lifted up on the tree of the cross!  That tree meant death for King Jesus.  Your sin damned Him there.  But that tree means life for you!  His blood shed there cleanses you from all sin.  All the sin you’ve ever committed and will commit.  All the sin that has been or will be committed against you.  King Jesus dies for you.  Giving His life into death for you and for your salvation. 

Now that’s a king!  That’s a kingdom!  Right here on the earth.  The kingdom of God comes with the Lord Jesus Christ! 

And all this is what Jesus was up to when speaking in parables.  “Always speaking in parables” to the people.  Explaining what they meant to the disciples.

Two parables today.  The parable of the growing seed and the parable of the mustard seed.  They’re kingdom parables.  I.E. stories that describe the kingdom of God or God’s reign on the earth in Jesus. 

Jesus says:  “The kingdom of God is like a man who throws seed on to the ground.”  “The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed planted in the ground.” 

Right off we learn that the kingdom is sown.  It’s been planted on the earth.  That’s Jesus.  He’s the king and the kingdom all wrapped up in one.  The first sermon Jesus preached made this absolutely clear when He proclaimed:  “The time is fulfilled.  The kingdom of God is at hand,” (Mark 1:15).  And since the kingdom of God has arrived in the person of Jesus, it is time to “repent and believe in the Gospel,” (Mark 1:15).

The Lord Jesus comes.  Planted smack dab on the earth in Mary’s womb.  Born in the city of David.  And heaven cracks wide open with the angelic hosts proclaiming “peace” that comes with kingdom of God King Jesus who reconciles sinners with His Father.  Yes, indeed, the kingdom comes.  Like a seed planted – like a mustard seed planted deep into the soil of this earth. 

And we have no control.  God the Father is the farmer that plants His Seed, His only begotten Son Jesus into our midst.  And Jesus just does His thing:  lives, dies, and rises as the atoning sacrifice for all our sin.  Here’s how Jesus describes it (I embellish for fun and to make Jesus’ point even clearer):  “The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil.  That’s it!  Just throws it willy-nilly on the ground, heads back to the house, calls it a day and hits the sack. He gets up with the roosters at sunrise.  Puts the coffee on.  Whips up a Swiss cheese omelet.  Watches the Price Is Right.  Unclogs the kitchen sink.  Winds the cuckoo clock.  Shops on-line.  Throws an evening supper party for friends:  roasted lamb, asparagus, red potatoes, and the best Merlot.  Watches the late night news programs and calls it another day.  Does the same  routine day after day, week after week, month after month – not giving even a thought to the Kingdom Seed He’s planted.” 

Sound kind of reckless, doesn’t it?

And yet Jesus says:  “and the seed sprouts up and grows all by itself . . . first the blade, then the head, then the grain, and then the harvest. ” 

Same with the mustard seed – the extremely small mustard seed.  “The kingdom of God is like that seed,” Jesus says.  To the human eye it looks like a nothing.  And yet planted, it does its thing.  It grows.  Larger than any thing you’d ever expect in the garden.  Puts forth tree like branches so that the birds can lark around and nest under its shade.

Yes, indeed, the kingdom of God has been sown.  That’s Jesus.  He’s the seed planted into our sinful world that grows, that is, does its work.  The work of salvation for you on the Tree planted on Mount Calvary. 

You have been kingdom-ed!  The kingdom has been sown in and among you.  Jesus has planted His death and resurrection smack dab into your life.  Spreads the shade of His Good Friday reign over you in your Baptism and in the giving of His precious Body and Blood for you in the Sacrament.   

Forgiven, you are His little birds that rest and nest in the shade of the branches of His cross.  You frolic in the bird- bath that is your Baptism.  Singing and chirping the praises of Kingdom of God Jesus who reigns right in your midst with all the angels, archangels, and all the company of heaven.

In the Name of Jesus. 


From → "B" Sermons

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