Weekly Evangelectionary for Sunday, June 21st, 2015

Lectionary (Year B): 1 Samuel 15:34-16:13 or Ezekiel 17:22-24; Psalm 20 or Psalm 92:1-4, 12-15; 2 Corinthians 5:6-10, (11-13), Mark 4:26-34

Theme: Kingdom Growth

Message: First of all, When Jesus spoke of the kingdom of God he meant the worldwide Christian movement in history; the church of Jesus Christ in the widest possible expression.

Secondly, Jesus is also speaking of the kingdom of God as something that is within the local congregation, the expression of the Gospel of Christ on a particular group of gathered people in a specific locale.

Finally, we need to remember that Jesus also said, “The kingdom of God is within you,” so this particular parable can refer to our own personal spiritual growth.

In all three cases (1) the seed must be sown, (2) it must be sown in favorable soil, (3) God provides the growth mysteriously, and (4) he invites us to participate in the harvest.

Quote(s):

“First of all the blade of thought, and afterwards the green ear of conviction, and then faith, which is the full corn in the ear.”  Charles Spurgeon

“…It can never be healthy if the Church seeks to grow only or predominantly in a horizontal sense, with a view to the greatest possible number of adherents; if its mission to the world becomes propaganda on behalf of its own spatial expansion.  It has to attest the Gospel.  It has to see a hearing and understanding for the Gospel’s voice…Jesus is the power of life imminent within it (the church); the power by which it grows and therefore lives. ” Karl Barth, “The Growth of the Community” Church Dogmatics, (IV, 2)

Film, other visual

“The Mission” 1986

“The Milagro Beanfield War,” 1988

“The Harvest,” 1998

Music: “Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life,”“O, Zion, Haste, Thy Mission High Fulfilling,” “Christ for the World, We Sing,”

Sung to the tune of “The Church’s One Foundation:”

  1. Facing a task unfinished

That drives us to our knees,

A need that, undiminished,

Rebukes our slothful ease,

We, who rejoice to know Thee,

Renew before thy throne

The solemn pledge we owe Thee

To go and make Thee known

 

  1.  Where other lords beside Thee

Hold their unhindered sway.

Where forces that defied Thee

Defy Thee still today,

With none to heed their crying

For life and love and light,

Unnumbered souls are dying,

And pass into the night

  1. We bear the torch that flaming

Fell from the hands of those

Who gave their lives proclaiming

That Jesus died and rose.

Ours is the same commission,

The same glad message ours,

Fired by the same ambition,

To Thee we yield our powers

 

  1. Father who sustained them

O Spirit who inspired,

Savior, whose love constrained them

To toil with zeal untired,

From cowardice defend us,

From lethargy awake!

Forth on Thine errands send us,

To labor for Thy sake

(Source Unknown)

avatar About Bruce Laverman

Bruce is a retired pastor and former Director of Evangelism in the Reformed Church in America now living in Phoenix, Arizona. He is the RCA's representative to Evangelism Connections and serves as Managing Editor of this Web site.

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