Posted by: pmarkrobb | August 14, 2012

two sacred collisions

I love it when God intersects your everyday with your study of the scriptures.  It’s like the touch of His hand on your shoulder reminding you He is ever-present in the hours, minutes and seconds of your life.  I had two such reminders this past week, while reading ahead in preparation for writing on the parable of the Sower.

As I read each gospel account several times through, I was honestly struggling to hear what God might have me share relative to the parable.  Jesus plainly explains the parable, so that was obviously not needed.  Using the three parallel accounts to more fully understand the parable was not really an option either.  Apart from a bit more detail on the reference to, and narrative of the prophecy of Isaiah sandwiched between the parable and its explanation, there is no significant difference in the three gospel accounts.  And I wasn’t settled as I considered writing on Jesus’ words to the disciples as to why he speaks in parables.  There is ample room to comment on His use of Isaiah’s words and the common context of their audiences.  But in starting and stopping multiple times, I found only a pile of proverbial crumpled up papers beside my delete button.  Enter the collisions with my everyday last Thursday evening and Sunday morning, and early this week things began to take shape.

Thursday evening I was helping my oldest son record his thoughts about a recent youth group trip.  He recorded his words, and I was in charge of inserting pictures and processing it into a format that could be incorporated into a larger slide show presentation.  What a gift to hear your child speak their heart!  I found a quiet space and listened to it several times.  In an especially moving section of his comments, he described how he had been reading his Bible every day since returning from the trip and was “highlighting the verses that I either do get or don’t get.”  We’ll come back to that in a minute.

Fast forward to Sunday morning in a classroom of first through sixth graders and an amazing conversation that started when one of them asked, “what does it mean when someone says that sorry isn’t good enough?”  I went child by child and asked if those words had ever been said to them, and if they had ever asked the person saying them what they meant.  Every single one of them said ‘yes’ to the first question, and ‘no’ to the second.  None of them knew what it meant.  None of them had ever asked.

In processing that classroom conversation in the days since, I heard the echo of my son’s words: “highlighting the verses that I either do get or don’t get.”  “… or don’t get.”  “…or don’t get.”  How many times have I highlighted verses in my Bible, phrases, sentences or whole paragraphs in books that speak to me?  How many times have I underlined a verse, phrase, sentence or paragraph that I didn’t get?  And how many times have I underlined a verse that I didn’t get and asked the Spirit what it meant?

The gospels have multiple references to times when the disciples didn’t get it.  How many times as the Cross was coming into view, did they not get it?  In the gospel narrative of the parable of the Sower, we clearly hear and see an instance where they didn’t get it … but they asked … and Jesus answered.  I think I am going to start modeling my son more often and start to underline the verses I don’t get, and then I am going to start asking.

Two sacred collisions in the everyday of this past week that illustrated the truth that sometimes we don’t get it … and how important it is to ask.  Thank you Father, Son and Spirit for revealing through these events and scripture, the truth that you love your children coming to you to ask questions.  And even more, love the conversations that result.


Responses

  1. The “verses I don’t get” grabbed my attention immediately when I first watched the video on Saturday. I felt a “yes!” ……”great!” ……. “he’s getting it!”, shout in my mind and leap in my heart. 🙂 It is OK….good to acknowledge the things about God we don’t get. God, there is so much that we don’t understand. So much that You personally desire to reveal. So many times that we go with the flow of “understanding” and miss the opportunity to “know You”. It all starts with an underlining and an honest “I don’t get it” in the presence of the Source of all knowledge and truth – our Father.

    Thanks to you and your son for drawing my attention to that. Thanks to You and Your Son for drawing my attention to that.

    Jerry


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