Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Week of: June 17, 2018
Scripture: Mark 4:26-34
... "The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground ... and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how."
(Mark 4:26-27, NRSV)
One of the things I find most frustrating about planning worship is the lack of immediate results. I receive a fair amount of feedback: hymns we like, hymns we don't like, more contemporary music, too much contemporary music ... you get the idea. What I don't often see is results.
Frequently, parishioners compliment the musicians or let me know that something in the service met a need or touched a tender spot in their soul. Those are good days.
What about the other days? What about the days when the choir has worked very hard to present a difficult piece — an offering of work and praise — and nobody responds?
Worship planning is much like planting a field. Just as I choose seeds for my garden, I select the hymns, anthem, and readings (the "seeds") far in advance. Those selections are the result of study, prayer, and a realistic knowledge of the capabilities and the hearts of the people I serve. There are times when the "perfect" worship element is not workable in my context. When these times occur, I have to trust the Lord to lead me to the appropriate resources.
God will lead me, if I will listen.
Guide me, loving God, in planting seeds that glorify you. Help me to remember always that the harvest is yours.
Nancy Yager Smith
Somerville First UMC
Image: Gogh, Vincent van, 1853-1890. Harvest in Provence, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN. http://diglib.library.vanderbilt.edu/act-imagelink.pl?RC=55315. Original source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ernte_in_der_Prov%C3%A9nce.jpeg.