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A lake and parables.

This Sunday we dive back into the story that we put on “pause” since Holy Week.  We fittingly pick up Mark’s Gospel in chapter 4.  I say that it is fitting because the setting of this passage that features Jesus teaching is a lake.  This setting is especially familiar as we spent last Sunday at Camp Chestnut Ridge celebrating the baptisms of Steve, Tanner, and Mike.  We can imagine ourselves on the shore of Jesus’ lake because we’ve so recently worshipped by the lake.

We’re involved.  We’re invited to participate.

Beyond the mere setting, we’re also invited by Jesus’ teaching itself.  Jesus teaches by the lake, but hardly as some sort of professor.  Rather than lecture, he tells stories in parables.  Jesus uses these parables to involve us.  To invite us into the story.  To do the imaginative work of figuring where we are in the story.

To form us rather than just to inform us.  To leave us affected.

So when we read and hear Mark 4:1-20 this week, jump into the story.  Imagine the scene he paints with a sower sowing seeds that either die or flourish and bear fruit.  Let this simple agricultural story put the question to yourselves and your life.

What kind of soil does God’s Word land on in you?

What are the thorns in your life?

Where are you shallow?  Where are your roots weak?

Where are you bearing fruit and how is that fruit blessing people?