From the Desktop of the Pastor – Week of the 3rd Sunday after Pentecost

Hello everyone,

Well, the weather sure has taken the turn for the worst these past few days. I was actually wearing shorts up until around Thursday and it seems like the floodgates just opened up and a lot of rain came down. Yeah, there were breaks in it here and there, but when it came down, it really came down.

And I’ll be the first to admit, I’m not a fan of rain. I know, I’m living in the wrong area of the world for someone who doesn’t like rain. I just find it uncomfortable, and I would much prefer it not raining outside. But on days like this, when it is raining, I just do what I can to stay inside (which hasn’t been hard these past 15 months).

But as uncomfortable as rain is for me, I understand its benefits. Just the other day I was driving down Canada Way and I was admiring just how green our fair city is. Compare that to some other parts of Canada (like where I went to seminary)… and well there is no comparison.

So while I don’t like the rain, I appreciate it. While I don’t prefer it, I also value it. While it makes me uncomfortable, it is still welcomed as I can admit and recognise its worth.

Now if only someone can invent a dry, warm, and sunshiny rain, then I’d be all over it.

Here are the readings for next week:
Ezekiel 17:22-24
Psalm 92:1-4, 12-15
2 Corinthians 5:6-17
Mark 4:26-34

Jesus’ parables here are confusing. He talks about a farmer of sorts that doesn’t really know what they are doing, and then talks about the mustard seed growing into a great shrub. First of all, farmers (even farmers of sorts) have to know what they’re doing or they wouldn’t be very effective farmers. And the mustard plant isn’t really great. In fact, it’s an annoying weed.

And this is what the kingdom of God is compared to? This is what it is like? Just some nonsense and half truths?

Well, I actually think these stories tell us more about the nature of the kingdom, how its growth and what it does and how it moves are completely out of our control, but it just happens by God’s grace, and we are welcomed to hop on for the ride. Just as we can’t stop the rains from falling from the sky (or actually invent a dry, warm, and sunshiny rain) but we can appreciate what the rains are for, so can we appreciate the kingdom even when we cannot change its overall direction. And just as it doesn’t take our full understanding of rain to know that it will fall whether we want it to or not (especially here in the Lower Mainland), we needn’t really understand how God’s kingdom works to know that it just will continue to work in and through and all around us.

I get that it is sometimes (actually often) hard to accept things that we cannot tangibly grasp or understand, but I think that is why Jesus sometimes (actually often) spoke in these confusing parables. I think the best ways to understand a confusing concept is accept that it is just confusing. I think its around things like these that our faith has to jump in.

And thanks be to God, we are given good reason to have faith in this.

Have a great week, everyone!

Photo by Mike Kotsch on Unsplash