Friday, July 29, 2016

The Blade, Head and Full Grain (Luke 13:32-33; Mark 4:28-29)

In Luke 13:32-33, Jesus' cryptic saying about I must go on today, tomorrow and the next day has been a lamp post as far as my ministry is concerned. These three days represent the three phases of the Lord's ministry in Luke's Gospel - Galilee's, the journey to Jerusalem and His passion. For ordinary mortals, these three days represent the three phases of our lives and ministry in the Lord. I am entering the phase of tomorrow in my middle age, truly into my second half of life and it could last for 15 or so years. Then my final stage will be brief - a few short years and then it's quits or in a more spiritual tone, I would have run and finished my course. In Mark 4:28-29, another enigmatic parable concerning the growth of a plant - first the blade/stalk, then the head/ear and the full grain in the head - again three stages of growth as mysteriously as it is the growth of a seed buried in the soil, there are three discernible growth spurts - three stages of life for a plant.
Then comes harvest, an eschatological metaphor if there is one at all. The growth process is also a metaphor of a Christian growth towards maturity in Christ. First the blade is our youthful years in Christ - our formative years, then the head as we reach maturity and then fruitfulness in our ministry - full grain in the head. God the Father desires fruitfulness, in fact abundant or much fruits in our lives and when the Church gives the Lord her fair returns, Jesus' return is on the horizon - He will come to harvest his crops as they ripened. Summer is near, the fig tree gives out figs and the Lord is near at His coming.

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