Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Thursday after the Seventh Sunday after Trinity Sunday

Posted on August 4, 2022 by Pastor Dulas under Devotions
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Scripture: St. Mark 4:26-29 (NKJV)
4:10 When He had called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear and understand: 11 Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.”
12 Then His disciples came and said to Him, “Do You know that the Pharisees were offended when they heard this saying?”
13 But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. 14 Let them alone. They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind leads the blind, both will fall into a ditch.”
15 Then Peter answered and said to Him, “Explain this parable to us.”
16 So Jesus said, “Are you also still without understanding? 17 Do you not yet understand that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and is eliminated? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”
Today’s text presents the parable of the seed growing secretly. The parable of the sower stresses the importance of proper soil for the growth of seed and the success of the harvest; here, the mysterious power of the seed itself is emphasized. The Gospel message contains its own power. This parable, which is only found in this Gospel according to Saint Mark, conveys both a warning and a word of encouragement to all of Jesus’ disciples. However important their role may be (or they may believe it is), they are not to imagine that the Kingdom is their kingdom, or its triumph their triumph. The Kingdom remains God’s divinely mysterious creative work. We are only laborers in His divine Vineyard; nothing more, and nothing less.
God’s work is a mystery to the fallen mind of man and thus must be received through faith. He is “Lord of the harvest,” man and his organizations are not. This serves as a wonderful encouragement for Christians, for however slow and unspectacular the “progress” of the Kingdom may be, the outcome is in the sure hands of the Creator. Men may pray throughout time “Thy kingdom come” with patience and confidence.
Prayer: O God, Whose never-failing Providence ordereth all things both in Heaven and Earth: we humbly beseech Thee to put away from us all hurtful things, and to give us those things which be profitable for us; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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