Words From Sue: Transformed and Transforming
August 6, 2017
Jesus also said: The kingdom of heaven is like what happens when a woman mixes a little yeast into three big batches of flour. Finally, all the dough rises. (Matthew 13:33)
We have been exploring the parables of Jesus this summer. Asking what each one might have meant to Jesus’s first century listeners, and what it might mean to us. As we looked at the parable of the woman and the leaven this past week we discovered that it had both an individual and corporate message.
At one level we each are the three measures of flour being changed by God’s love and power. As individuals we come to church to experience a taste of God’s grace, the love of Jesus, and the power of the Spirit. This experience begins to stir us, to speak to our souls. Then we carry that transformation out into our lives. God’s presence and power with us grows as we let it until it is enough to touch and transform every aspect of our lives–by our willingness and the Spirit’s power. Each of us, in the simple act of living our daily lives, spread the love of God naturally and authentically as the result of how God’s love has been worked through and touched us.
Then, just as the amount of dough created by forty to sixty pounds of flour would be too much for one person to knead and generate too much bread for one person to eat, the parable also offers a corporate message. God’s love and the powerful example of Jesus transforms each of us and TOGETHER we carry the product, the bread of our lives, out to those we contact. We work together to knead the dough—study, pray, worship, and share—and we bake the bread to reach others with the same transforming love of God that has touched us. This can be seen in the way our children’s ministry program LIGHT grew out of the cry of one heart for our need to reach children with the stories of Jesus, we found others who shared that passion, talked and worked together to create a vision and a plan, and then the Board empowered us with the resources we needed to make it happen. It was a natural, powerful, organic progression from one heart speaking, to many hearts sharing the vision, to the ministry that touched many children and families this past year. Those families were blessed and we were blessed—everyone has been fed by that experience.
The parable leaves us with some questions. Questions that are extremely important for each of us to consider as we imagine what ministries God is calling us, as a congregation, to support and offer. Here are the questions:
- How do you experience God’s power and love touching and transforming your life?
- What do you carry away on Sunday mornings (or from Bible Study etc.) that keeps you coming back to Lakeview week after week? What are you fed?
- Who are the people whose hurts or challenges bring you to tears or make you angry? What stories or concerns have touched you this past week?
- What one person can you share your ideas with? Will you?
We are called, as the body of Jesus, to reach out in love to the community in which we live and work. Answering these questions, or thinking about them, and then sharing that answer allows us to generate passion for outreach in new directions. Be part of what God is saying to Lakeview! Share your thoughts—they matter!