In-person worship services will be held as scheduled this Sunday. Please use discretion when determining whether roads are safe for your personal travel.
If you are unable to travel, consider joining worship online HERE at 7:30, 9, 11 or 5pm, on-demand at Resurrection’s YouTube channel, or on TV at KMCI 38 at 8am or 11am.
We are watching the weather and at this time the Car Show is still on as scheduled for the public, open from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. We will keep you updated as conditions change.
1 Soon afterward, Jesus traveled through the cities and villages, preaching and proclaiming the good news of God’s kingdom. The Twelve were with him, 2 along with some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses. Among them were Mary Magdalene (from whom seven demons had been thrown out), 3 Joanna (the wife of Herod’s servant Chuza), Susanna, and many others who provided for them out of their resources.
4 When a great crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from one city after another, he spoke to them in a parable: 5 “A farmer went out to scatter his seed. As he was scattering it, some fell on the path where it was crushed, and the birds in the sky came and ate it. 6 Other seed fell on rock. As it grew, it dried up because it had no moisture. 7 Other seed fell among thorny plants. The thorns grew with the plants and choked them. 8 Still other seed landed on good soil. When it grew, it produced one hundred times more grain than was scattered.” As he said this, he called out, “Everyone who has ears should pay attention.”
9 His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He said, “You have been given the mysteries of God’s kingdom, but these mysteries come to everyone else in parables so that when they see, they can’t see, and when they hear, they can’t understand [Isaiah 6:9].
11 “The parable means this: The seed is God’s word. 12 The seed on the path are those who hear, but then the devil comes and steals the word from their hearts so that they won’t believe and be saved. 13 The seed on the rock are those who receive the word joyfully when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while but fall away when they are tempted. 14 As for the seed that fell among thorny plants, these are the ones who, as they go about their lives, are choked by the concerns, riches, and pleasures of life, and their fruit never matures. 15 The seed that fell on good soil are those who hear the word and commit themselves to it with a good and upright heart. Through their resolve, they bear fruit.
Luke prefaced Jesus’ parable of the sower with stories of “good soil” found in unexpected people in those days: women! Luke 7:36-50 showed a forgiven woman bravely showing Jesus her gratitude in the home of a disapproving Pharisee. And chapter 8 listed several women who, instead of tamely staying “in the kitchen,” gave Jesus funds for ministry and even traveled with him and the disciples. Luke seemed to emphasize that human biases or boundaries can’t limit good soil.
God, please grow a bountiful crop of your love, your purity, your goodness and compassion in the soil of my heart. Let me be full to bursting with the fruit of your Spirit. Amen.
I have been feeling, as I know many others have, that we are living in a time of darkness. And, to be honest, I’m afraid I’ve contributed to it sometimes. I have opinions, strong ones, about certain things that are happening around me–sometimes I can think of little else. Today, John 3:19 jumped out at me.
This version, which includes John 3:19-21, from The Message¸ really hits me where I live:
“This is the crisis we’re in: God-light streamed into the world but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness. They went for the darkness because they were not really interested in pleasing God. Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil, addicted to denial and illusion, hates God-light and won’t come near it, fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.”
That can’t be me, right? I love Jesus! I want to be like him. I’m not guilty of “running for the darkness”….am I? Those other people are doing that, right?
Hmmm…was I running toward the light this week when I took not-so-quiet delight as a public figure I don’t like was ridiculed in memes all over social media and even in the evening news? Was I running toward the light when I reacted in anger toward a group who made statements opposed to a public policy I find to be an important tool to move toward a solution to very real needs in our community? When I sat and fumed, was I seeking God’s light, or my own need to be right and my desire to live in a world where everyone agrees with me? Would anyone who heard me in the situations I described have seen Jesus and the light?
“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness doesn’t extinguish the light” (John 1:5). How do I live as the light and not the darkness I see and feel around me?
God’s truth and reality are presented in a very straightforward way by everything Jesus said. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…And love your neighbor as yourself…” (Matthew 22:38-39).
So, as much as I hate to admit it, I admit that I can fall into running into the darkness instead of seeking the light. I want to do better. If you feel the same way, let’s do it together!
Lord God, who streamed light into the world and gave your Son so that everyone who believes in him won’t perish but will have eternal life, help me run for the light and away from the darkness. Help me always remember that the key to avoiding the darkness is staying close to you, living and sharing the light of your love, without judgement or anger. Help me become a person of grace, so that the dark world sees your light through me. Amen.
* Richard B. Vinson, study note on Luke 8:8 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 125 NT.
** Richard B. Vinson, study note on Luke 8:15 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 125 NT.