O give thanks unto the Lord for He is good, His mercy endures forever (1 Chr 16:34). Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church - Winnipeg, MB  
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    Rev. Cameron Schnarr

Beautiful Savior Lutheran School

Lutheran Church Canada - What do you believe?

LCC - Lutheran Church Canada

Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church - Winnipeg, Canada


Based on Mark 4:26-34

Preached on June 14, 2015

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In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The kingdom of God comes as a big surprise. Who would have thought the kingdom of God on the earth would look like this: God taking on human flesh? Born of a virgin? Betrayed? Abandoned? Hated? Arrested? Beaten? Suffering a horrific cruciform death at the hands of the Romans? Buried in a stone cold tomb?

But on that cross - Jesus is king! He rules from the wood. Jesus reigns among sinners on Good Friday as the Savior. The history of the universe climaxes when Jesus is grave yard dead - taking the world's and your sin in His body to bury it in the black hole of His tomb.

Behold the kingdom of God! When Jesus is lifted up on the tree of the cross! That tree meant death - for King Jesus. Your sin damned Him there. But that tree means life for you! The blood He shed there cleanses you from all sin. All the sin you've ever committed and will commit. All the sin that has been or will be committed against you. King Jesus dies for you - and your salvation.

Now that's a king! That is a kingdom! Right here on earth. The kingdom of God comes with the Lord Jesus Christ!

And all this is what Jesus was up to when speaking in parables. "Always speaking in parables" to the people. Explaining what they meant to the disciples.

Two parables today. The parable of the growing seed and the parable of the mustard seed. They're kingdom parables. That is, stories that describe how God rules on earth in Jesus.

Jesus says: "The kingdom of God is like a man who throws seed on to the ground." "The kingdom of God is like a mustard seed planted in the ground."

Immediately, we learn that the kingdom is sown. It's been planted on the earth. Namely, Jesus. He's the king and the kingdom all wrapped up in one. The first sermon Jesus preached made this absolutely clear when He proclaimed: "The time is fulfilled. The kingdom of God is at hand," (Mark 1:15). And since the kingdom of God has arrived in the person of Jesus, it is time to "repent and believe in the Gospel," (Mark 1:15).

The Lord Jesus comes. Planted smack dab on the earth in Mary's womb. Born in the city of David. And heaven cracks wide open with the angelic hosts proclaiming "peace" that comes with this King/Kingdom Jesus who reconciles sinners to His Father. Yes, indeed, the kingdom comes. Like a seed planted - like a mustard seed planted deep into the soil of this earth.

And we have no control. God the Father is the farmer that plants His Seed, His Son - into our midst. And Jesus just does His thing: lives, dies, and rises as the atoning sacrifice for all our sin. Here's how Jesus describes it (I embellish for fun and to make Jesus' point even clearer): "The kingdom of God is like a man who casts seed upon the soil. That's it! Just throws it willy-nilly on the ground, heads back to the house, calls it a day and hits the sack. He gets up with the roosters at sunrise. Puts the coffee on. Whips up a Swiss cheese omelet. Watches the Price Is Right. Unclogs the kitchen sink. Winds the cuckoo clock. Shops on-line. Throws an evening supper party for some of his friends: you know, roasted lamb, asparagus, red potatoes, and the best Merlot. Then he watches the late night news programs and calls it another day. And he does the same routine day after day, week after week, month after month - not giving even a thought to the Kingdom Seed He's planted."

Sounds kind of reckless, doesn't it?

And yet Jesus says: "the seed sprouts up and grows all by itself ... first the blade, then the head, then the grain, and then the harvest. "

And it's the same with the mustard seed - the extremely small mustard seed. "The kingdom of God is like that seed," Jesus says. To the human eye it looks like a nothing. And yet planted, it does its thing. It grows. Larger than any thing you'd ever expect in the garden. Puts forth tree like branches so that the birds can lark around and nest under its shade.

Yes, ind

eed, the kingdom of God has been sown. That's Jesus. He's the seed planted into our sinful world that grows, that is, He does His work. The work of salvation for you on the Tree planted on Mount Calvary.

Beloved, you have been kingdom-ed! The kingdom has been sown in and among you. Jesus has planted His death and resurrection smack dab into your life. Spread the shade of His Good Friday reign over you in your Baptism and in the giving of His precious Body and Blood for you in the Sacrament.

Forgiven, you are His little birds that rest and nest in the shade of the branches of His cross. You frolic in the bird- bath that is your Baptism. You sing and chirp the praises of King Jesus who reigns right here in your midst with the angels, archangels, and all the company of heaven, even as He feeds you bread from His own hand. (pause) Your king is here. And beloved, you belong to Him.

In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Rev. Cameron Schnarr