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 grain—first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. 29 As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.”
We think we have come so far. Science has shown us the way the seed opens and sprouts into a plant. We have figured out how we can adjust the plants to produce more and better fruit for us. And not just recently. Look up the Turkish flower the Dutch people produce, the Tulip. It began with a few colours, now they have created a huge variety of colours and multi-colour varieties. Or look up the watermelon. The original watermelon did not have great flavour or the good colour inside. It was a poor tasting way to have water in desert areas. And oddly, orange carrots are a hybrid. The originals were a variety of red/purple, yellow and white.
For all we know of these plants, we have only been able to work with the plants that already are. We have been able to make some small changes to colour and variety. We can’t originate a new plant or mix a tomato with a carrot.
And Jesus uses this mystery of the growth of plants, regenerating with seeds, to show how his kingdom is. We don’t create the kingdom. Yet we are part of it. We don’t add to the kingdom. But somehow we are used in the process anyway. We don’t determine the purpose of the kingdom. But we are allowed to take part in the purpose of the kingdom (Love God and Neighbour – Make disciples and teach them the same).
We are part of the kingdom. If our being part of the kingdom is like this story of the grain and the harvest, then it seems our part in the kingdom is to be part and to become mature and bear fruit. And bearing fruit means that fruit bears new seeds which grow into more parts of the kingdom. Fruit, seeds and growth. And it repeats with life in this pattern. Today we are plants from seeds. Tomorrow we look at that fruit that grows. And each day we live as part of God’s kingdom.
Song – City of God
Almighty and everlasting God, you have willed to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, our Lord and King. Grant that the people of earth, now divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under the gentle and loving rule of Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.