Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how.” (Mark 4:26,27)
The kingdom of God throbs with mystery. It is like a man scattering seed in a field. The seed sprouts, sending up tiny green, breaking open the surface of the soil. While the farmer sleeps, growth occurs unseen. Then, he sees a nob, curled leaves unfurl, the stalk lengthens, blossoms form, fruit enlarges. Once he sows the seed much happens quite apart from his intervention. “He knows not how.”
God graciously engages us in the growth of His kingdom. Like the farmer, we have a part. But the LIFE resides in the SEED. Although we are blessedly entangled in the glorious mystery of God-on-the-move in the world, we can make nothing happen ourselves.
This is the mystery: “we know not how.” God is working mostly invisibly all around us and, most thrillingly, IN us. He is at work IN us and in using us to advance His kingdom in the world. We can’t see His working and, yet, we do. Evidence of His work everywhere.
We sow seed in a million ways. Kingdom people often don’t even realize they’re dropping seed as they go. Seed drips from their words, their tender or penetrating eye, their spoon at the soup kitchen, their listening ear or joy-shaped countenance, from their reveling aloud in gospel riches. Certainly seed is sown in proclaiming the good news.
But once the seed is sown down into the deep places of a heart, the life in the seed swells, bursts, grows out of sight until it pushes into the light. Or the yeast invisibly works its way through society; the tiny mustard seed becomes a tree that birds come to. Seed sowers are party to a glorious and holy mystery. The King is growing His kingdom.
Live the mystery.