“Grow” I Matthew 13: 1-9, 31-32
The Christmas season is over and the New Year has begun. What now? What does Jesus call us to do? How are we to live in the light of the promises and demands of his teachings?
During this Epiphany season we are considering some of the imperatives in Jesus’ teachings, particularly in his parables. An imperative is not only a command, but it is also defined as something that demands attention or action; an unavoidable obligation or requirement; necessity. We continue the What Now? series in sanctuary worship this Sunday with the second imperative: GROW. There is a sense in which growth is unavoidable — a natural and inevitable part of life. However, physical growth — so rapid in the early months and years of life — slows to a stop with maturity.
So, how can growth be considered an imperative?
There are other kinds of growth that are not automatic or inevitable and do not necessarily come naturally. When it comes to intellectual, emotional, attitudinal, or spiritual growth, it can stop almost anywhere along the way and requires more effort as time goes along. So, Jesus challenged his followers to keep growing. He took his disciples to places they would not otherwise have gone. He stretched their minds and their hearts with his parables and other teachings. He confronted some of their beliefs and attitudes. He reminded them that the kingdom of God itself means growth and that the responsibility of any Christ-follower is to sow seeds that may one day grow and bear fruit. He taught them that openness to receive the message and allow it to bear fruit in our lives is also part of what it means to follow him. Sunday we will consider the mandate to continual growth in our own lives.
Sunday is also the Sunday in the Christian year called “Baptism of our Lord” in which we remember his baptism and our own, renewing our commitment to Christ and our commitment to be God’s peoplein the world.
I look forward to seeing you then!
Grace and peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster