my miscellany

Pentecost 6, 2017 — 16 Jul 17

Pentecost 6, 2017

RCL A Proper 10
Isaiah 55:10-13, Psalm 65:9-14, Romans 8:1-11, Saint Matthew 13:1-9 and 18-23

Words from the Psalm: “May the meadows cover themselves with flocks, and the valleys cloak themselves with grain; * let them shout for joy and sing.”[1]

This week, I have found the Lessons appointed for this Eucharist to be overwhelmingly large. I mean that they are a reminder; they are renewing; they are revealing; and they touch upon the largest subject there is to touch upon. That subject is so large that I find it hard to put my arms around it. But here goes.

The Lessons are reminders that God made heaven and earth. Every living plant, every living animal, every human being are illustrations for God. They themselves remind us that God created them, put life in them, and they reflect God’s glory. Their very existence sings a song of praise to God. The system, the economy, and the organization of all living things refer to their Maker. By living and by growing they tell the story of God clearly and directly through countless millennia.

And way down the line, after epochs and ages, Jesus tells the Parable of the Sower. He draws a comparison between two huge things. In fact, he says that those two huge things are really the same thing. He says that the life in plants, in animals, and every living creature throughout the ages, is identical to his teaching—his teaching is that life handed down and extended from generation to generation through all the ages. “As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit.”[2]

I have tried to capture in so brief a time this renewing and immense comparison, because it corrects the major temptation of our age and our time. As Christians in the post-modern world, we are tempted to think that our story, the word sown on good soil that bears much fruit, is at best charming and at worst quaint and antique. To compensate for this, we seek to be relevant to the same world that is pushing us out of its mainstream.

And my preachment is this. Our story is so close to the life created by God shown in generation after generation that it is foolish to try to be relevant. When Jesus took to the boat and taught the throng on the beach, he was not saying something new. He was plumbing the depths, the very essence, of the world God had made. He was and is telling us where true authenticity is to be found. He was telling us our origin. And he was offering himself to keep us connected to the life we have been given. We can easily listen, and we can easily bear much fruit.

[1] Psalm 65:14.

[2] Saint Matthew 13:23.

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