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Thursday, June 14, 2018

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I've always admired gardener-types who transform a patch of dirt into a flower garden or a vegetable patch. A green thumb I am not.

Jesus reminds us of the power of a little underwhelming seed. This is how the Kingdom of God comes about--gently, slowly, breaking through ground. Earthly kingdoms break the ground too, but like a bulldozer--through coercion and force. Sometimes we expect the Kingdom of God to be like a bulldozer. We want to see progress that is earth-shattering and immediate.

A seed doesn't only change a garden bed, it can change an entire landscape. The Kingdom of God enters one's heart, and at first, it may seem to make no difference at all. But as one ponders, considers and wrestles with it, things begin to stir. And after a while, this little seed of Truth has the potential to transform our landscape and change the world.

Powerful Lord, you show us your strength through gentleness and your might through service. May the seed you plant in our hearts spread into all we do and say. Amen.

Laurie Neill, '12
Discipleship Pastor, First Lutheran Church, Fargo, ND

Mark 4:26-34 (NRSV)

26 He also said, "The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground,
27 and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how.
28 The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head.
29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come."
30 He also said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it?
31 It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth;
32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade."
33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it;
34 he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.