Just as it is so easy for us to read a scripture at the surface level and say “that’s that,” it is extremely easy for us to hear this parable (all parables) and do the same, or go out and share the Word and say “that’s that” whether it is received or not. It’s easy to say that our work is done no matter the outcome because we did all we needed to do. I’m here to say that is not the work Christ seems to be calling us to. We would get a very different Gospel narrative if that is what Christ was doing. Christ does not simply preach and call it a day. He continues to walk with and heal and accept those who don’t seem to “get it.”
“I got a glimpse of what the Kingdom of God was doing and I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. Even if I didn’t realize it at the time, I wanted to be a part of what God was doing.”
Many of you here have heard my story. I was not brought in to the church through a promise of Heaven or the threat of Hell or guilt or fear or because someone came and preached to me. I came into this because I got a glimpse of what it was about and what the Kingdom of God was doing and I knew that I wanted to be a part of it. Even if I didn’t realize it at the time, I wanted to be a part of what God was doing.
Just as Christ calls us to wrestle with these texts and to continue to wrestle with them past the surface level, he in the same way calls us to reach out to places in need of the hope and redemption that the Kingdom of God offers. We must bring physical nourishment, just as Christ came and healed and cleansed, and social nourishment, just as Christ broke down social barriers and invited all to the table, and through this will come spiritual nourishment, just like in the story of Bartimeus, who follows Jesus after being healed (Mark 10:46-52).
In the same way, Christ does not cease from preaching and healing when his words seem to fall on flat ears. The work of Christ and therefore our duty to the Kingdom of God is to bring good soil to those places that find themselves devoid of it. If someone’s environment puts them in a space where they are not yet ready for spiritual nourishment, then our duty is not to move on to another place, but to participate in the action of the Kingdom of God by turning that environment into one that does promote spiritual growth.
Where have you seen the absence of hope?
How are you being called to participate in the action of the Kingdom of God that brings hope to all?