Lamp on a stand

This is written by Rebecca Farrow. Like it says on twitter 'I watch plays, lots of plays. I teach English & Drama. Fun.'

Mark 4:21-41

A lamp on a stand
21 He said to them, 'Do you bring in a lamp to put it under a bowl or a bed? Instead, don't you put it on its stand? 22 For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open. 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.'

24 'Consider carefully what you hear,' he continued. 'With the measure you use, it will be measured to you - and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.'

The parable of the growing seed
26 He also said, 'This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground.27 Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. 28 All by itself the soil produces corn - first the stalk, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 As soon as the corn is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.'

The parable of the mustard seed
30 Again he said, 'What shall we say the kingdom of God is like, or what parable shall we use to describe it? 31 It is like a mustard seed, which is the smallest of all seeds on earth. 32 Yet when planted, it grows and becomes the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade.'

33 With many similar parables Jesus spoke the word to them, as much as they could understand. 34 He did not say anything to them without using a parable. But when he was alone with his own disciples, he explained everything.

Jesus calms the storm
35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, 'Let us go over to the other side.' 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, 'Teacher, don't you care if we drown?'

39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, 'Quiet! Be still!' Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.

40 He said to his disciples, 'Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?'

41 They were terrified and asked each other, 'Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!'

Reflection

Have a go at reading this passage through a couple of times and use your imagination to put yourself in that crowd.

Listen to Jesus' parable stories about the kingdom.

What did you hear? Are you being given more?

Next, Jesus talks about how a farmer scatters seeds, and with little care they seem to be ready for harvest. How many people do you think have come to know Jesus through you? Remember all those casual throwaway conversations you've had about your faith? Well God has got those covered and those people may know Jesus now. How amazing is that? How's your seed planting going?

Jesus continues with mustard seeds, oh yes, they grow too. But Jesus wants us to realise that when we tell people about the kingdom of God then they can become amazing people that lead many others to God too. Do you know any of these?

The gospel says that it was the evening when Jesus leaves on the boat with the disciples. It also mentions that other boats were with him. Would you have been on one of those other boats? Would you have been so captivated by Jesus and the Holy Spirit that you would have followed and jumped, all soggy clothes and expectation, on to one of those boats?

Do you catch Jesus' eye - what does that feel like?

How do you feel when Jesus calms the storm? Scared? Overwhelmed? Have you ever tried to calm the weather in the name of Jesus?

How small is your faith? How big? Is it there? Or maybe, just reconsidering these parables has made you realise just how amazing your faith is.

Mostly though, Jesus does not want us to be afraid. Ever. Maybe Jesus is asking you about this? Could you just rest in his presence? Take your time because Jesus loves you.

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