We're in the middle of a three-week run of parables. There are many parables in the gospels, this week's comes from Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43.
Last week's parable had to do with seeds, this week's has to do with seeds and fields, next week's will include mustard seeds and fields. Jesus used what was readily available, easily pointed to, understood to illuminate something else. Often in parables the physical world is the illustration to help us with the spiritual/discipleship world.
C.H. Dodd said parables "tease the mind into active thoughts." Our Pastor Emeritus (who served as Central's Senior Pastor from 1999-2010) and new Associate Pastor of Congregational Care, Rev. Tom Pietila, will be the sanctuary preacher this week. He is quite good at teasing the mind into active thoughts. Come Sunday to welcome Tom back to Central and to think with him about "The Slow Work of God."
Or, maybe it's the vivid language of Psalm 139 (verses 1-12, 23-24) you need this weekend. Rev. J. Derrick Cattenhead will preach "You Know Me" in The Well this Sunday.
Think of that - God knows you. Almighty God, with all that God has to deal with, knows you. There is nowhere, according to the psalm, that you can go where God is not already. There is no place to hide that is beyond God's care or reach.
If that frightens you, the psalmist meant it as a comfort. If it bewilders you, you're not alone. Verse 6: Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is so high that I cannot attain it.
Whichever service, wherever you are, consider the bewildering God who is willing to go and be anywhere for us. This God even came to us in the flesh to take ordinary things like seeds and use them to show us what the Kingdom of God is like. Let your mind be teased by that.