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How Does Thy Garden Grow?

Rev. Kurt Hering

2nd S. a. Pentecost
Trinity Lutheran Church  
Layton, Utah


right-click to download MP3 of this sermon

Sun, Jun 14, 2009
2nd S. a. Pentecost
 

Preaching to the saints of the Lutheran Church at Christ-Elkhart and Faith-Hugoton in Kansas since February 8, 2015. All sermons prior to that date were preached either at Trinity Lutheran Church-Layton or First Lutheran Church-Tooele, Utah.

Greetings in the name of the head of the Church, even Jesus Christ Our Lord!

If you would like to hear the sermon preached at Trinity Lutheran Church in Layton, Utah for the 2ND Sunday after Pentecost, click on the link provided here.

The audio begins with the Hymn of the Day, "O God, O Lord of Heaven and Earth." The sermon begins at the 3:55 mark.

Have a blessed week living in the Garden of The Lord.

Rev. Kurt Hering, Pastor

Trinity Lutheran Church

Layton, Utah

Here is the preaching outline.

TEXT: Mark 4:26-32 [Jesus] said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. 28 The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."

30And he said, "With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? 31 It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade."

How does thy garden grow? It's a question that needs to be answered in light of what is happening in the garden of Christ's church today.

The text likens God's kingdom to a field or garden. How does it grow?

[Jesus] said, "The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. 27 He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how.

This what we learn from Luther's Catechism 2nd petition of the Lord's Prayer, LSB, p. 324.

"Likewise, if I had seen them holding mass, I would have preached to them and admonished them. Had they heeded my admonition, I would have won them; if not, I would nevertheless not have torn them from it by the hair or employed any force, but simply allowed the Word to act and prayed for them. For the Word created heaven and earth and all things [Ps. 33:6]; the Word must do this thing, and not we poor sinners.

"In short, I will preach it, teach it, write it, but I will constrain no man by force, for faith must come freely without compulsion. Take myself as an example. I opposed indulgences and all the papists, but never with force. I simply taught, preached, and wrote God's Word; otherwise I did nothing. And while I slept [cf. Mark 4:26-29], or drank Wittenberg beer with my friends Philips and Amsdorf, the Word so greatly weakened the papacy that no prince or emperor ever inflicted such losses upon it. I did nothing; the Word did everything. " [Luther's works, vol. 51]

Johnny Appleseed Chapman--itinerant planter and sometime-preacher: "The popular image of Johnny Appleseed had him spreading apple seeds randomly, everywhere he went. In fact, he planted nurseries rather than orchards, built fences around them to protect them from livestock, left the nurseries in the care of a neighbor who sold trees on shares, and returned every year or two to tend the nursery. " [Wikipedia]

So it is with our Lord. The seed is sown throughout the world and the saplings are to be tended in His church.

That is where the second parable comes in. It is about the church.

From the smallest seed, the seed of Christ sown by the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary, the church grows.

The Church is where the parables are explained.

Mark 4:10-12 But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, "To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that ' Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them.

And in His church He has given some to be Johnny Appleseeds, and some to be caretakers of the nurseries.

 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up [Eph. 4:11-12]

 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. [Acts 20:28-30]

 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment. 2 For we all stumble in many things. [James 3:1-2]

The rest have been given to be apple trees—or birds.

 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy. [1 Peter 2:9-10]

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

It's true of sinners.

It's true of those born of the Spirit.

Dear baptized, there is great comfort in these parables.

 God's kingdom grows according to His will, by His command.

 It gives shelter to all who nest in it throughout the world: , 32 yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade."

 God harvest's at the proper time: . 29 But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come."

Where does thy garden grow?

Where God forgives sin and sinners—in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Insofar as this sermon is a true proclamation of the Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ, it belongs to Him and His Church. Therefore its use is free to all who deem it worthy and beneficial.



Send Rev. Kurt Hering an email.




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