When Jesus taught his followers how to pray he said to begin by asking for God’s kingdom to come on earth like in heaven (Matthew 6:10).  In other words, there is nothing better than experiencing the reality of God’s leadership and goodness in all dimensions of life.

When Jesus first went public with the Gospel he said, “The time has come.  The kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent and believe the good news.” (Mark 1:15)

But how is it really possible to experience God’s kingdom when we are still disinclined to seek it first above all things, when the world is still full of disbelief, indifference, and violence?

Jesus told a story, a parable, that sets in place a hopeful expectation.

This Sunday at the Gathering Church we will look at the Parable of the Sower, found in the Gospel of Mark 4:1-20.  It describes four different responses to the message that Christ was preaching.  One of them is amazing.  The other three look like a failure of the message, a failure of the kingdom.

Jesus tells the story after some incidents that look like he is failing.  Healing someone on the Sabbath generates opposition rather than faith.  He is accused of doing what he does by the power of Satan.   Even his mother and brothers think that he has lost his mind and attempt to ‘rescue’ him.

Do you ever struggle with wondering if your hope in God really matters – really means anything?

Well, there is some good soil where God has planted something that will take off in growth and fruitfulness.

And the outcome is much better than the alternatives we might be tempted to accept or even expect.