CreatingCommunity is an email devotion to guide your preparation for worship next weekend. Imagine how much more clear and relevant God's Word will be if you have had an opportunity read, reflect, and dwell in the Word prior to worship. You may do this devotion alone, with others, as a family, or over Zoom as a small group.

This devotion is to be done in preparation for Sunday, June 6, 2021, The Second Sunday after Pentecost.

Please follow these three steps:

1. Read through the text
2. Respond to the questions (select one of the sets of questions)
3. Offer a Prayer
Mark 4:26-34
Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground,and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”
He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything in private to his disciples.
No Experience Necessary Questions:
  1. What scares, confuses, or challenges me in this text?
  2. What delights me in this text?
  3. What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
  4. What is God up to in this text?
Family Questions:
  1. Have you ever planted seeds? What kind? What happened?
  2. During summer God shows up all over the place in surprising ways – not just at church but also at the pool, on the field, at the beach, at camp, even in the back seat of the car! How will you watch for God this summer?
  3. If you were to write a parable about God, what would you say? I'd like to read it.?
Advance Questions:
  1. Jesus talks a lot about the kingdom of God. Why do you think that is? What do these two parables tell us about the kingdom?
  2. Jesus' listeners were familiar with the tree of life. We'd think of cedar or a sequoia, but Jesus finds the power of God better imaged in a tiny, no-account seed. What do you make of that alternative image?
  3. What do you think we were told that Jesus explained the parable in private? What parable (here or another) would you like Jesus to explain? Why?
Click here to listen to this week's CreatingCommunity song
Hymn of Promise By: Natalie Sleeth
Pray a Prayer of your own or this one.
God of small seeds and mighty plants, you take our meager lives and with your love cause them to produce acts of loving kindness for you in this world. You hear our cries and find us when we are lost and wandering in fear. You bring us home with you so that we may be made whole, rejoicing in your goodness. Help us to joyfully serve you all our days, knowing that you are always watching over us. Prepare our hearts to receive your word and our spirits to respond in eagerness to serve you. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.