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Summary: Our tendency to procrastinate, even over matters related to the soul, is challenged by Jesus’ sermon of the soils.

GOOD THINGS COME TO THOSE WHO … WAIT.

Mark 4:1-20

From the Sermon Series: “Ten Cultural Myths that Drive America”

We are in the throes of our sermon series, “Ten Cultural Myths that Drive America.” It is taken from the first six chapters of Mark. We are highlighting different adages or aphorisms imbedded into the American psyche that serve to reinforce our cultural philosophies. We have discovered that Jesus’ worldview goes against the grain of much of mainstream America. Specifically we have looked at.

• Might Makes Right (Mark 1:1-12) – Christ’s counter-cultural ethic of serving humanity rather than working from a position of force and manipulation.

• Image is Everything (Mark 1:32-39) – Jesus rejects this Western philosophy. Jesus had the crowds eating out of his has but walked away from the populace specifically because their ambitions did not coincide with those of the Heavenly Father’s.

• Shop ‘till You Drop (Mark 2:13-17) - Jesus reminds us that there are better ways to find meaning in life than materialism.

• Rules are Made to be Broken (Mark 2:18 – 3:6 -) Jesus rebukes and challenges the worldview which says the ends justifies means. Jesus says there is no place to bend or violate God’s eternal law. Period.

• Live and Let Live (Mark 3:1-6) Jesus challenges the individualism that dictates so much of the American lifestyle and offers us an alternative – community.

In coming weeks we will look at other slogans that have become embedded into the American psyche, other idioms that define us and motivate us as a people. We will look at:

• If It Aint Broke Don’t Fix It (Mark 4:1-20)

• God Helps Those Who Help Themselves - Mark 5:25-34

• Stand Up For Your Rights - Mark 5:17, 6:1-6

But today we are looking at chapter 4:1-20:

1Again Jesus began to teach by the lake. The crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water’s edge. 2He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said: 3"Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so that they did not bear grain. 8Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up, grew and produced a crop, multiplying thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times."

9Then Jesus said, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

10When he was alone, the Twelve and the others around him asked him about the parables. 11He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables 12so that, " ’they may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’"

13Then Jesus said to them, "Don’t you understand this parable? How then will you understand any parable? 14The farmer sows the word. 15Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them. 16Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. 17But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 18Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; 19but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful. 20Others, like seed sown on good soil, hear the word, accept it, and produce a crop—thirty, sixty or even a hundred times what was sown."

There is an entire industry created around this common practice. Inventors are always seeking to design the right gadget to compensate for it. People will spend money to enable its ongoing existence.

Songs are written about it and social clubs are designed with it in mind. It is berated while at the same time being celebrated. It is … procrastination.

Our culture has fine-tuned it. Government is highly skilled at procrastination – always passing the buck, or hiding their heads in the sand, or delaying action until next committee or party or generation. Our economy has made it an art form; we can buy a home with no money down and we can buy a car and pay no interest “until next year”

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