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Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

The Gospel of the day, which discusses the parable of the seed growing and the parable of the mustard seed, is our focus today. Our devotion is from Meditations on the Gospels.

Scripture Readings

Ezekiel 17:22–24
Psalm 1
2 Corinthians 5:1–17
Mark 4:26–34

Read the propers for today on lutherancalendar.org.

Devotional Reading

[Mark 4:26–29 is] a beautiful parable about the power and reliability of the Gospel. As we let our light shine, confessing and teaching the Gospel, we certainly would be foolish to worry about its success. What does the Christian farmer do when he sows good seed into his field? Does he lie awake at night, worrying about the result of his labor? He leaves that to the Lord. He remembers God’s promise that as long as the earth remains, seedtime and harvest will continue. The seed will sprout and grow. The success of the Word cannot be forced or hurried any more than we can change the growth process of the crops in the field—but it is assured, by virtue of the promise of God, that His Word will not return to Him void. The happy harvest time will surely come.

Another parable of cheer and comfort is that of the mustard seed. Like this relatively small seed, so the preaching of the Word and the beginning of the Church are small and disregarded. Nevertheless, the marvelous growth of the Church and the success of the Word are the wonder of the ages. As the birds find rest in the branches of the mustard tree, Jesus teaches, so countless souls have found peace in Christ’s kingdom.

Here, then, is how Jesus customarily taught the Word of life to the people. His hearers did not always understand the parables, as Mark says, but they heard these plain illustrations from their own everyday life, thought about them, and discussed them with one another. And to this day, these parables help us to remember and understand the deep mysteries of the eternal truths of our salvation. What a blessed privilege that these lessons are preached to us, even as He preached them to His disciples. No more blessed hours can be spent than in the company of Jesus.

Devotional reading is from Meditations on the Gospels, pages 274–75 © 2009 Concordia Publishing House. Originally published in 1948 as The Devotional Bible. All rights reserved.

Hymn

Hymn is “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty,” hymn 790 from Lutheran Service Book. Video © 2018 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

 

Written by

Anna Johnson

Deaconess Anna Johnson is a marketing manager at Concordia Publishing House. After graduating from the deaconess program at Concordia University Chicago, she continued her studies at the University of Colorado—Denver in education and human development. She has worked as a church youth director and served a variety of other nonprofit organizations, such as the Lutheran Mission Society of Maryland. Anna loves playing video games and drinking a hot cup of tea almost as much as she loves her cat and her husband.

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