Between Christmas and Easter, we are studying the Gospel of Mark in our church services and in our Bible Studies. Mark is the shortest of the four Gospels: it contains none Christmas accounts and has less of Jesus’ teaching. Instead, Mark focuses on the identity of Jesus as the Son of God who came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).
Despite its brevity, Mark still contains some of the teachings of Jesus, including the parables in chapter 4. Here, Jesus tells his disciples that the kingdom of God is like a mustard seed that begins as the smallest seed and grows into the largest of all garden plants, with such big branches that the birds can perch in its shade (Mark 4:31-32). In this parable, Jesus explains how the Kingdom of God grows from humble beginnings – a man deserted by friends and crucified – to the day when every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord.
In another parable, the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-20), Jesus explains the various responses to the Gospel. Both these parables help his disciples to have realistic expectations. As we sow the seed of the Gospel, i.e. we tell people about Jesus, some will accept the good news but many will reject it. Nonetheless, the Kingdom of God will continue to bear fruit in the lives of those who accept the good news.
Two years ago we started a new service at Scots Kirk at 4pm on Saturday. This service has been growing slowly and steadily such that we now have several families attending. In this, we praise and give thanks to God.
Please continue to pray for this service, and for our Sunday service and other activities, that they might continue to grow and bear fruit