BIBLE STUDY, Matthew 18

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day Eighteen: Wednesday, July 1st, 2020
Bible Lesson: Matthew 13: 1-58

Reflection from Pastor Wayne Eberly:

“Sowing and growing”
Jesus tells us many parables in our reading today. First is the parable about a sower. The parable does not get off to a promising start as the first three examples are of soil that does not lead to a good harvest. Thankfully, there is a fourth soil, the good soil. That soil receives the seed and the harvest multiplies, thirty, sixty, even a hundredfold.

In a wonderful parallel to that parable, we have seen seed that has found good soil. Some seed landed among the eager hearts of members and friends at Dunn’s Corners, and the result is a sewing ministry. Because the seed that was sowed found good soil, our sewing ministry has brought us into relationship with some amazing ministries.

DRESS A GIRL AROUND THE WORLD makes sundresses that are sent through various projects to those in need. Dress a Girl Around the World is a program within Hope 4Women International that has been serving women and girls at risk since 2008. To date, more than 500,000 dresses have been made and sent to 82 different countries.

QUILTS BEYOND BORDERS makes quilts for children in need, especially orphans living in under-served areas of the world where the warmth of a quilt is needed at night. More than 153 million children in the world today have lost one or both parents. Quilts Beyond Borders has delivered thousands of quilts around the world, most recently to Native American Indians have been receiving quilts for adults.

TPQM Small Kennel Quilt Team is a volunteer organization that makes quilts for animal shelters that have been impacted by disasters. After disasters strike not only may a shelter be destroyed, but there are cats and dogs who have been injured, lost or abandoned, and these quilts will be in their crates adding comfort to their disorientation.

The Coronavirus has rudely interrupted our whole sewing ministry. Without workdays this year we have not been able to sow our seeds, so to speak. But we will be back. Even though our sowers were sidelined, many of them immediately transferred their calling and their skills into making masks.

Jesus refers to the harvest several times in this chapter on parables, as well as a mustard seed that grows into a mighty tree, a pearl of great price, and a hidden treasure whose discovery brings great joy. All of these images, in one way or another, are called to mind when the Sewing Ministry has their completed work on display. Oohs and aahs are heard and many expressions of joy and gratitude are voiced as we, the members and friends of Dunn’s Corners, stroll through the aisles and take in the beautiful handiwork. We have been assured the reception is even more joyful when these works of love make their home in places far away, touching hearts and bringing hope to people in need.

May these parables that we read today spark within us a desire to seek first the kingdom of heaven, knowing that when the good seed finds the good soil, there is no telling what bountiful harvest our Lord will bring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Commentary:
As you read the parables in Matthew 13, consider these words about the kingdom. “Jesus did not say that the kingdom was like a rock, fixed and solid and firm and unchanging. Jesus did not say that the kingdom was like a giant machine that you put some things in and you get some things out and that what you get out depends upon what you put in. He said it was like an enormous tree that grows out of a tiny seed. A tree that grows so enormous that all the birds of the air can come and find shelter in its branches, even strange little ducks like you and me. He said that God was like a housewife who puts a smidgen of yeast in three measures of flour and that yeast yields its life into the whole batch of dough. That is the way that the kingdom is, growing from the very beginning into all that God has intended…From the foundations of the world, the very first moment of creation, it is the kingdom that has been on God’s mind, and God is infinitely patient as it grows.” (Patrick J. Wilson, “God is not finished,” a sermon quoted in Feasting on the Word, Year A, Volume 3, p. 265)