I like my vegetable garden and fruit trees. One of the big challenges is the care, protection and effort it takes to keep on top of pests and weeds that can choke your plants or steal important nutrients that should be going into your food crops or can chew off the leaves that absorb life from the sun.
Last week, as I removed harvested plants in readiness to plant my winter crops, I saw that there had been lots of weeds growing underneath some of them. And snails! I hadn’t taken the time to lift the leaves up to see what was happening in the hidden places. And those crops had suffered.
In Mark 4, Jesus says this can be like our faith. “Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful.”
In Mark 5, Jesus helps two very different people rise above the noise that tries to defeat their faith and keep them afraid, to escape the ‘professional mourners’ shouting and wailing away convincing them that hope was lost. On my walk that afternoon, I reflected on what weeds and pests I might be harbouring in my life. What anxieties and fears was I letting drown out his voice and bowing my head? What lies was I listening to? I found a few I need to take care of. What about you?
Jesus calls us to keep our eyes fixed on him and on his truth: that we are accepted, forgiven, loved, and that he IS at work in this world – despite what the world is shouting at us.
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