The rhythm of organic kingdom growth-Ordinary 11B

Mark 4:26-34

He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”

He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.

Living as I do in the second half of my life, I recognise looking back, that I really didn’t make much happen.  Somehow my life unfolded.

Was it John Lennon who said, “Life is what happens while you are making other plans.”?

That isn’t to say that I haven’t been occupied and obsessed with trying to strategise and organise, manipulate and manage the direction and flow of where my life was going.  Somehow though, the really good things that have come my way have been more organic and opportunistic than my plans would have plotted.

Knowing this makes me really appreciate the teaching of Jesus for this Sunday.  The kingdom of God happens. It is organic. Alhough we can co-operate with the processes of God we should never think we can control them.

Thank God. Mystery will always triumph over our manipulation.

I love Jesuit Fr. Anthony de Mello’s definition of enligtenment.

“Enlightenment”, he says, “is complete co-operation ith the inevitable”

That is the Kingdom.


4 responses to “The rhythm of organic kingdom growth-Ordinary 11B”

  1. Peter avatar

    Bless you
    The Listening Hermit

  2. Peter avatar

    Hi Stephen
    I re-checked my sources an d came up with:
    Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
    …similar expressions were used by others prior to Lennon’s use of this line, and have been attributed to Betty Talmadge, Thomas La Mance, Margarate Millar, William Gaddis, and Lily Tomlin, but the earliest known published occurrence was the 1957 attribution of “Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.” to Allen Saunders in Reader’s Digest, according to The Quote Verifier : Who Said What, Where, and When (2006) by Ralph Keyes
    Thanks for the feedback though


  3. Volley avatar

    I was toying with McCartney/Lennon’s “let it Be” for this week’s sermon… Your offerings provide good fruit for ministry, even “half a world away” in North Carolina, USA. The Spirit’s work through you is a source of joy each and every week. Thanks be to God!

  4. The Rev. Stephen Smith avatar
    The Rev. Stephen Smith

    Actually, the often repeated and commonly believed attribution for, “Life is what happens while you are making other plans,” is not John Lennon. This quote was “coined” by Groucho Marx. If you’ve seen any of Groucho’s movies or TV appearances, you can well imagine this quote as just the sort of “one-liner” he was known for.

    Thanks for your thoughts on Organic Christianity and Fr. de Mello’s quote.

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