Reflecting on Mark 4:26-34
This section from Mark may be my favorite part of the entire New Testament. I’ve never seen the unfolding of our lives expressed more beautifully than when Jesus offers his brilliant analogy of the secret seed (4: 26-29).
This is how the kingdom of God is built: with daily kindness and graciousness, with the unrecognized nurture of parents and teachers, with ethical decisions that others take note of but never mention. Evening comes, and morning follows, year after year. And one day a person you don’t remember takes you aside in an airport and says, “I’ll never forget what you said to me that day. It changed my life.”
Or maybe one day, after years of struggle, you sit down and play a Mozart sonata with beauty and ease. Or maybe your daily Spanish tutorial finally pays off when you can converse with—or at least understand a conversation with—those nice people in the parish whom you’ve been smiling at for ages.
Or maybe your skinny jeans FINALLY fit. Or maybe you finally throw them away and stop measuring your right to live by whether you can wear them or not. Now THAT’S the kingdom of God, for sure.
My favorite line occurs after the farmer scatters seed on the land, and sleeps and rises, day after day, and the seed, without him doing anything else, sprouts and grows. How? He does not know.
Take fathers, for example. No child consciously decides which of his traits she’ll carry into the world. But studies show that his day-to-day presence and strength will help form her into a confident woman. How? She does not know. But such is the kingdom of God.
In what ways has your father most influenced your life?
Kathy McGovern ©2018