Friday, April 22, 2011

We Are Significant Parable

Luke 12:23-28
Matthew 18:1-5
Mark 9:36-37
1 Corinthians 12:4-6
Ephesians 4:7-8

You can gain a better understanding of many of Jesus’ parables if you explore them outdoors. If someone in your group needs encouragement and feels that their life and contributions are insignificant, go to the nearest river or free flowing creek. Have everyone dip their hand into the water and watch how, as each drop runs from their fingertips, the water level rises and the current increases (although it may be imperceptible…just like the good things we do in life). If they have trouble seeing the impact of these small drops, don’t worry, often you really won’t be able to notice any change at all.

As your group walks along the banks of a river or any flowing stream, you will very likely run across wet patches or relatively insignificant trickles of water springing forth from a level above that of the main flow. If you continued to travel in an upstream direction you would eventually discover that regardless of how mighty the flow of the river, at its uppermost end would be found one of these insignificant springs or puddles. And although each one by itself might just as easily evaporate as combine with others, all of these insignificant drops combine to create the mighty river. If each insignificant spring were somehow plugged or diverted, the river itself would soon be nothing but a dry ditch. You are each a unique creation, unlike anyone else. You are vitally and irreplaceably important in making your family, fellow campers or church exactly what God wants it to be. Through relationships with others in God's Kingdom, you play a much greater role than that of an indistinguishable drop of water in the forming of a river.

Another way which is every bit if not more important is by opening your eyes to the lessons that God literally lays at your feet. Consider the acorn, the seed that grows into a mighty oak tree (or use another seed/nut that you have in your area that may work for the trees in your area – got mustard seeds?). This is a wonderful revelation of the changes that must take place in order for people to grow close to God. While traveling just about any road in the world, one can experience the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-9) by seeing the effects of dried up plants that have sprouted up on hard rocky soil in contrast to the healthy plants that are thriving in moist fertile soil. In the Southeastern part of the United States entire trees and once beautiful mountainsides completely smothered by the fast growing Kudzu Vine which strangles the life out of everything within its reach.

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