Political primaries are in the news these days. Many have already taken place around our nation, though primaries in our neighborhood are yet to come (June 26). Politicians want to point out why you should vote for them and not for the other guy. Perhaps you are looking for a fresh face? Or maybe you want to vote for the tried and true candidate? The crucial, underlying factor is: Who can you trust?
It would seem that the Almighty God and Creator of the universe should be at the top of anyone's list of candidates worthy of trust. The problem is that the seemingly insurmountable bad stuff we'd all like to avoid happens to EVERYONE. Even those with heroic faith are no less immune to sickness or broken relationships or misfortune of any kind. It makes no difference how many hours they have spent in the local Care Pantry or how many times they have absorbed bitterness with the soothing gift of forgiveness. The same calamities befall them that befall others...or as the Scriptures say, "The rain falls on the just and the unjust" (Matt 5:45). Putting our trust in God will certainly look and feel different from any other sort of trust we're inclined to give ourselves over to. Even God, speaking through the Scriptures, says so.
Yet God's reign in Jesus overturns the very things the world teaches us are insurmountable and opens up for us a future of new possibilities. A few years ago Juli and I bought a pot of daffodils at Lowes in the spring. They were already coming up and about to bloom. And bloom they did. But once the blooms were spent and the leaves turned yellow, we cut them back and put them down in the basement intending to plant them out in the fall…you know, the time of year that you plant out bulbs. Only, we didn’t ever plant them out. We forgot about them. Completely. And this pot of bulbs sat forgotten in our basement all winter long. It continued to sit down there all spring, as well. But once summer came, when we were putting away some boxes down there, what should we run across but a forgotten pot of dirt with 6 or 7 daffodil shoots poking through the top! That picture of forgotten bulbs in the basement that grow…anyway….that image of daffodil flowers that bloom…in June!...illustrates in similar terms what Jesus’ two parables about seeds recorded in our text tells us, today. Remember the most important seed story--a true story, at that--ever recorded in the Scriptures? The one about the Son of God, who fell to the ground like a dead kernel of wheat, yet became alive again, so as to bear much fruit (John 12:24)? God's love for the world--and God's work on behalf of the life of the world--is so dependable that it was fulfilled in the sacrifice for sin of God's one and only Son, Jesus.
Trusting in God won't mean that bad things won't happen. It will mean that we hold on to a God who makes all things new in spite of the bad stuff. As we celebrate this Father's Day, let us also give thanks for the Father who loves us. We put our trust in the one Candidate who is worthy of that trust. And we live...never completely sure (yet free and at peace) about where the next bend in the road will take us.