Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Year B Proper 6 (11) Third Sunday after Pentecost

ShortStop is dedicated to life's transitions experienced in congregations, personal life, and families.  Transitions and what churches call "interim ministry" are "short stops" on the journey to new beginnings.  The ShortStop Lectionary Blog is one way to help preachers in the transition times to find ideas from the Revised Common Lectionary.  Each text will be considered but the focus each week will be on the text(s) that will be most helpful for preaching during an interim transition time. The preacher will be able to "connect the dots" creatively with themes of the lections. 

Year B Proper 6 (11)
Third Sunday after Pentecost
Mark 4:26-34

All the texts for this Sunday have the common thread of growth and flourishing – even the anointing of David looked forward to a growing kingdom in the future.  A challenging message in this is that growth and fruitfulness is about a process over time, not an answer for the moment.
During the discontinuity of transitions in our lives and congregations there is a temptation to jump to the quick, easy, or most assessable answer.

Transitions are inner adjustments to external change events.  Internal adjustments take time.  A friend of mine recently had a son and daughter graduate college and get married, all within two years.  All the family dynamics shifted radically and the “empty nest” left the heart empty.  That empty heart needed to be filled and that happens as the sadness and loss drains away and we can replace it with possibility and hope. 

Jesus teaches this principle beautifully in the Gospel for today.  The reign of God is like a seed that has an invisible life that burst forth almost as a miracle. Over time, the seed grows, bears fruit and is harvested.  And the cycle begins again. Change and transition are always with us.   And so is God.

Bob Anderson
Toledo, OH 
 Interim Ministry Specialist
 Life Coach for Ministry Professionals

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