1200 South Carbon Street · Marion, Illinois
Faith Development – 9:00 AM * Worship Service – 10:30 AM

January 19, 2020 – The Second Sunday After Epiphany – Down by the Sea

Mark 4:1-34 Parables of sower and mustard seed

Parables are something we spend a lot of time on in the church.
Jesus uses parables to teach us things. Often we end up with a superficial
reading, which domesticates the parables, or we go so deep that we lose
the relation of the parable to our lives. Sometimes Jesus explains the
parables, but more often, he does not, and we are left to ourselves to
interpret them.
Today, we’ll consider the setting of the telling of these parables.
These are root parables that we come back to time and time again. These
parables often end up being the base for our understanding of the faith.
Jesus is down by the sea when he tells these parables. He’s actually
pushed out to sea just a little bit in a boat, and is teaching from the boat to
the shore.
The sea isn’t that thing we think about today when we go to the lake
or the beach. It is wild, unknown, unknowable. It floods, it sweeps in and
destroys. It is limitless, stretching to the horizon. As we so often comment
when looking out to sea, it reaches until the sea touches the sky. It is a bit
of a bridge between here and above.
What does it tell us that Jesus choses to be pushed out into the
infinite sea, to teach those sitting on the land, about the kingdom of God?
Where do we find bridges the gap between heaven and earth? Who do we
find bridges that gap?