Mark 4: 26-29
He also said, ‘The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. 29But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.’
In this passage from the Gospel of Mark, Jesus uses the image of seed scattered on the ground to describe the Kingdom of God. The seed, he says, sprouts and grows without the sower knowing how. There is something “automatic” about it: first the stalk, and then the head, and then the full grain in the head. The implication is that the Kingdom (or Realm) of God is inexorable and approaches without human intervention.
At the same time, we know that human beings are the instruments of God in whatever God purposes on earth.
What is your understanding of the Kingdom (Realm) of God? Is it simply a utopian vision of this world, perfected . . . something toward which human beings can work? Or is it something that only God can create?
In your view, what is the relationship (if any) between American Democracy and the Kingdom (Realm) of God?
What examples might you draw from your own life of growth that is “automatic,” that happens without human effort?
Rev. Dr. James Gertmenian