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Discovering God's Kingdom – Growing the Church

Saturday 25 July

I don’t know about you but I’m finding other people’s attitudes towards the COVID 19 guidelines and social distancing quite annoying, frustrating and selfish. I go to the supermarkets and work with dread. I fear a second wave. I see people on the television in crowds on the beaches, protests, waiting for High Street Shops and Pubs to re-open. I think to myself haven’t they listened to a word we have been told.

Life is all about the decisions we make, like do we open the door and let Jesus into our life and hear the good news.

This got me thinking in my Lunch Break at work, following a frustrating morning of poor social distancing by some of my work colleagues and a parallel to the Parable of the Sower came to mind. We have all had guidelines to help us avoid catching Coronavirus and stop the spread of the disease, of course some people haven’t listened and it’s gone in one ear and out the other. They have turned their back and closed their ears. Very much like the good seed that fell on the path.

Then there are those who heard the message and follow if most enthusiastically to begin with. They are catching up with those jobs they never had time for. However, the novelty soon wears off, they get bored, life gets tough. They go back to old ways and ignore the guidelines, they had no depth, like the seed that fell on the rocks that had little soil. They have sprung up quickly and withered.

There is another group of people who are determined and follow the instructions and are doing well. However, soon they see many others are ignoring guidelines and having a great time and become tempted and jealous of what others are doing. These people are tempted back to the distractions and sins of this world. They have been choked by the brambles.

Finally, there are those who have heard the words spoken and follow the guidelines. We are enjoying our lives found through God, we don’t want to go back to our lives exactly as they were before. We have used the time to reflect and moved forward in our lives in a new way. We are fearful of going back to old ways. We don’t want to catch Covid 19 like we don’t want to go to hell, so are focussed on God, Heaven and Eternal Life.

Dear Lord,
We pray for those around us that they will open their hearts and let you in.
Let them discover right from wrong and turn from bad ways.
Blow their seeds off the path onto good soil, let their ears open up to receive the Good News.
Nourish us so we continue to grow in the good soil we have been planted in that we will also spread and serve you, as you have in your plans for us.
Help us to spread seed on to good soil so others can feel the wonders and joy of what we have found in you.
Thank you for the love you give us and the pleasures that surround us.
Remind us each day that nothing is going to happen today that you and I can’t deal with together.

Steven Hookway