Today we welcome Anne Harshbarger, one of our summer counselors, as new Digital First Light writer!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, grant us the strength and courage to strive for your Kingdom as we do your work here on earth.
Reading: Matthew 13: 31-33, 44-52 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: Today’s scripture reading is a collection of parables. Jesus illustrated some of the most important truths of the Kingdom of heaven through parables. The definition of a parable is: “a simple story used to illustrate a moral or spiritual lesson, as told by Jesus in the Gospels.” Jesus told these earthly stories with heavenly purpose in order to reach people who would not understand these truths told in a more scholarly context. As a result, the analogies remain popular in teachings, familiar in families and easy to keep in the back of the mind.
These five parables describe the Kingdom of heaven as a mustard seed, yeast, hidden treasure, a fine pearl, and a net; each revealing a different characteristic of the Kingdom. The characteristic that connects all five parables is accessibility. Our hands are within reach of the Kingdom- that is why we say that we partake in God’s work with our hands. Partaking in that work is one of my favorite aspects about working as a counselor at camp. I get to partake in furthering the Kingdom at this place which has been set apart by God’s hands. And I get a front row seat to witness campers doing the same! From these glimpses, I know when the Kingdom comes in its fullness it was be breathtakingly beautiful! --Anne Harshbarger
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