Daily Devotional February 8th
“The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens. And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.” (Mark 4:26-29)
During the days of the pandemic, a number of things should have become crystal clear to those of us who have dedicated our lives to being followers of Jesus. One of the things that I think most Christians have come to realize is that the Church is not the building to which we have historically congregated on set times of the week. While our buildings may bear the names of our individual congregations, they are not the Church, but rather convenient places to meet and from which to perform some of the many activities of our congregations.
We often hear these days that ‘we are the Church.’ This statement is absolutely true, but I wonder if we as believers truly have a clue as to what that means for our everyday lives. A story that Jesus told should help. In Mark 4, we find recorded a number of parables Jesus used to describe the Kingdom of God. A repeated theme is that of farming, which makes sense considering the agricultural setting Jesus taught in. He tells of seeds being scattered, of plants springing up, of struggle to thrive in poor soil and the bounty that can be produced by those whose lives represent good soil. Most times we are encouraged to find ourselves pictured in one of the various responses to the sharing of the message of Christ—the hard path, rocky soil, weed patch or good soil. And this is a good start, but we need to go further.
We need to consider the farmer. Who is he? Jesus clears up the disciples’ confusion when he explains that the ‘farmer’ is everyone who takes the seed of the good news about Jesus to others (Mark 4:14). Who is the farmer? It is to be anyone who professes to believe in God and in His Son. Our job is to scatter the seed of love and truth about Jesus and, when God has done the work of causing the plants to grow, gather the new believers together so that they can be trained up to become farmers of God’s Word, too. This is how a single seed can produce hundreds more. This is how the Kingdom of God is grown.
But I fear, that too many of us have lost or never learned the skills of spiritual farming. Our job is not to force or shame people into making professions of faith, but to share the truth we know with grace and compassion. It is the Holy Spirit’s job to soften hearts and bring conviction. As people respond to God, the seeds that we are to be spreading every day will find places from which to germinate. And once God brings the seed of the truth we have shared to the point of being confessed in another’s life, it is then up to us to come alongside and support the new life God has begun. Those of us who say we believe in Jesus need to prove it, by being obedient to our call to be spiritual farmers—scattering God’s love and truth, gathering the crop and training up the next generation of farmers.
~ Pastor Jane
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!