7 after Trinity

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Readings

1 Kings 3.5-12
Romans 8.26-39
Matthew 13.31-33,44-52

Sermon

Hello, my name is Mark Wild and I am a Reader in the Worcestershire West Rural Team.

The parables contained in this morning’s reading taken from Matthew’s gospel, whilst explaining something of the Kingdom of God, fall into three categories.

The first indicates that even something that starts out small, yeast in a bread dough mix and a mustard seed, will grow into something large which will have a far greater influence on the world around them, than anyone would have been thought possible, if they had never seen the final result.

The second, is an indication of the response that someone will have to realising who Jesus is and how important he is to the rest of their lives.

And the third, reinforces an earlier passage, that warns everyone, that there will be a time of sorting of the people into those God deems to be worth keeping and those who are not.

A few years ago, I started to get into bread making. I am not talking about just putting the ingredients into a machine and switching it on, although that was a start, I am talking about putting the ingredients into a bowl mixing them together, working the dough, leaving it to prove, reshaping it and finally baking it.

To do this successfully you need to have a good idea of what is happening during each stage of the process.

I also started to look not only at recipes, but also techniques.

By doing this I have also obtained perhaps a greater insight into what Jesus is saying.

It has also made me aware that the effects of the yeast and the mustard seed are not quick, these do not have fast results and we should not expect that from God’s Kingdom either. It works in God’s time.

To get the best bread you need to let the yeast work for longer.

My basic recipe uses 5grams of yeast to 500grams of flour and the proving lasts a couple of hours.

The bread is good, but if you use just 1 gram of yeast in 1kilogram of flour before adding the water and salt and leave it overnight, the bread is much better.

There are natural yeasts in flour, more in untreated and whole meal flours, but they are there in all flours and these are triggered by and work with the added yeast.

I believe that there is something of God in all of us, it just needs the right trigger to set it growing.

Just in the parable of the sower, some seed grows quickly, but the ground cannot sustain it and it dies. So it is with us. We need to grow in God slowly and to mature into a good crop over time.

Likewise, as we start to influence those around us by talking about God, so the God in them is also triggered to grow. But the community that grows out of this needs to do so in a measured way, so that it is sustainable.

But grow it must, or it too will die.

We might think that we are only one person, so small in the scale of things, but if we can trigger the God in other people, how great will our influence be?

We should not feel the need to rush, our influence might start with the offering of a cup of tea, or in these times, a telephone call, an email or text message just to make contact with that person, to make sure that they are all right and that they do not need anything which we can provide.

Our church community might seem small when compared with the number of people who live in our area, but if we can start to trigger the God in others, how great will that community become?

A mustard seed is very small, but over time it will grow into a tree that will support a number of birds and as it grows further it will support more.

But again it takes time.

The second group of parables talks about those who hear about Jesus, the God in them is activated and they just realise how good that is.

They then discard all that they gained their wealth from previously and concentrate only on him, because they realise not only can they get everything from just him, but that is better that all that they had before.

The third section relates to the harvest of what has been created.

The crowd to whom Jesus was talking would have understood about the need to sort a fish catch into what was worth keeping and what was not.

Your reputation as a provider of fish would have been jeopardised if it was known that you sold bad fish. Only the best is good enough for your customers.

And in God’s case, only those who have accepted Jesus as their Lord and saviour was good enough for him.

The rest would be cast away into a fiery furnace, when the realisation that what they had been told about Jesus and had rejected, was in fact true, but it was then too late to do anything about it.

Questions for Reflection

I ask you now to consider the following questions –

If you are to be a small piece of yeast who can trigger the God part in somebody else, who is that person and what is the best way to approach them?

What can you do as part of your Church Community to start providing a support, a place of refuge for the people in your area as in the case of the mustard tree?

And if you want that God part in you to be triggered, where do you need to go, who do you need to talk to, so that you do not risk being discarded in the fullness of time?


Page last updated: 28th July 2020 12:46 PM
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