Summary: Reminding the faithful that God is more than our minds can understand.
He also said, "This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain--first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come." Mark 4:26-29
In the information age, where we seem to communicate more and more and truly connect less and less, we suffer from TNTK syndrome. TNTK – The Need to Know. When we make a plan or purchase we want to know more about how everything works, and why it works, and how does our involvement make it work. This principle doesn’t just happen when we buy a new computer, or consider a vacation spot, it happens in our faith life too. We want to understand every little thing about God. We seek theologies that can explain God to us. Enough with the mystery! We want to dissect the God of our Creation, the Word of our faith and the walk of our Spirit journey.
An ad for the Unitarian Universalist Church in our paper reads in big bold print, “Are you looking for a church where you don’t have to turn off your brain?” A few years ago, to showcase a new emphasis on Christology, a church ran a national ad campaign that showed a picture of Christ and under it the caption read, “He died to take away your sins, not your mind.” When I joined my first Disciple of Christ Church they described themselves quite cheerfully and proudly as “the church of common sense.” All this intellectual fervor, all this mind power, what does it serve? The Need to Know.
I think theological studies and historical evaluations are great things and it’s wonderful to see people who want to think about their faith. I love it when people ask me deep questions and work with me to find solace in answers. But I’d much rather spend time with someone who lived the gospel, than someone who could merely explain it. As servant leaders, our call from God is to know whom we serve. Our job is to plant the seed, and reap the harvest. Our joy is to realize that the death and resurrection of Christ will save this world, even if we don’t always understand how.
Each Sunday we recite the Mystery of Faith. I hope we always will. I pray we will continuously leave enough room in our smart brains for some mystery, some awe, and some “how does God do that?” We don’t need to glorify our minds (that incident with the tower of Babel should have proven that), we need to exalt the Creator God, who made our minds, and all the neat thoughts we put in them. The Gospel of Mark reminds us to never wait around to understand everything before we get out and spread the seed of God’s love. We are servants and we don’t serve the Need to Know. What we serve is the Need to Sow!