Mark 4.26-29

He said, “The kingdom of God is like this. A man scatters seed on the land; he goes to bed at night and gets up in the morning, and the seed sprouts and grows–how, he does not know. The ground produces a crop by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then full-grown corn in the ear; but as soon as the crop is ripe, he sets to work with the sickle, because harvest-time has come.”


7 responses

  1. We sow, we plant, we reap, we harvest. But the growth is not from our work but of the Holy Spirit.Ours is not to grow a meeting, grow a church, or even grow in our own faith. Ours is to read the moment — whether it is time to sow or is time to reap.Comforting and frustrating at the same time. Who says God doesn’t have a sense of humour?

  2. Jesus said:”The kingdom of the [Father] is like a woman who was carrying a [jar] full of meal.”While she was walking [on a] road far [from home], the handle of the jar broke, and the meal trickled out behind her [onto] the road.”She didn’t realize (this); she hadn’t noticed the accident. (But) when she reached her house, she put down the jar and found it empty.”– The Gospel of Thomas, saying 97

  3. I think that’s my favourite saying from Thomas — followed by the one that says those close to Jesus is close to the fire, but those far from him are far from the kingdom.BTW — if you want to be able to post postings and not just reply to them — send me an email at and I’ll send you an invite to join.

  4. Yeah, I’d like marshall to be officially with us too!What this really reminds me of is gardening–not just gardening, but what gardening keeps bringing to my attention. Sometimes I’ll do some work in this garden (not a lot; it’s tiny) and I’ll plant some seeds, hope they aren’t caught in the snail stampede. Mostly peppers, in this climate, tomatoes in the summer.I’ll go out and look; it’s as commonplace an observation as you can get but doing it brings it home: Those plants are going to come up (if they come up) after an appropriate time has passed; they’ll flower when it’s time, put out their fruit (which won’t ripen sooner no matter how many times I go and look.) The ones that are starting now will likely be stunted by the cold. But peppers keep growing out dark green and suddenly they’ll turn red on me and be beautiful, go into the next batch of salsa or the next pot of chili.We’ve been green an awful long time, but we keep on getting riper. There isn’t a whole lot of point blaming anyone for not being ripe yet. And lately I’m starting to feel like I’m getting there, like I know we’re being looked after and I can see it in the lives around me.

  5. I appreciate the invitation to join. But to become a member is also to share the responsibility, and I don’t feel I can handle the additional responsibility at this time. With your kind indulgence, I’d prefer to remain a kibitzer.You’ll note that I just posted a comment on the previous passage — vv 24-25 — that ties in to this present one.I also want to add another comment specifically on this one:David says that “ours is to read the moment — whether it is time to sow or is time to reap.” But this should be understood in the context of Proverbs 14:12, Job 5:12-13 / I Corinthians 3:19, and especially Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 — passages where we are reminded that it is beyond mere human ability to know the proper time with any certainty.And above all it should be understood in the light of Isaiah 30:1-2b, which reminds us of what we must do in this state of incomplete knowledge.I would guess that in Christ’s agricultural sermon, he probably referenced at least some of these verses.And a final comment: no one here has yet talked about the relationship of meaning (not just humor) between the passage we are looking at — Mark 4:26-29 — and the saying in Thomas which I quoted. But there is a relationship of meaning, a rich and rewarding one. Would anyone here care to say anything about it?

  6. I’m guessing Marshall is taking this woman’s jar to represent her life and opportuinities, that losing the meal meant failing to notice the right time and that her fate was a bad one.The Gnostics who included this may well have taken it to mean something quite different.The load she felt she needed to carry (when she was far from home) turns out to be nothing when she arrives.I’ll have to check out the references later; the bathtub is ready to harvest.

  7. The responsibilities of membership — in the case of this group — are mostly self-imposed. But kibitzing is alos more than welcome.

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