A few weeks ago, I awoke very early in the morning and felt directed to open, and read, Mark 12. Having spent time in God’s Word and in prayer, I am convinced that this is something we as a congregation should be studying together and as such will be engaging with over the next seven weeks.
This chapter of Mark’s Gospel is huge, and the overall theme is that of relationship with God, and relationship with each other – which is summed up in the middle with Jesus speaking on the greatest commandment.
This Sunday we will be starting with the Parable of the Tenants which really speaks into the relationship that we have with God.
“At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard.”
The key concept here is that the vineyard belongs to the owner, and that now is the time for the tenants to give back, in thanks, for the privilege of being able to harvest the land. A servant is sent to collect some of the fruit of the harvest but the tenant farmers, feeling entitled, are reluctant to offer anything up.
Questions that we will be pondering on Sunday are:
- Do we consider God to be the owner of the vineyard?
- What does the fruit we are growing look like?
- Are we willing to give some of this fruit to God, or do we wish to keep it for ourselves?
Mark Chapter 12 really is a good place for us to be at this time. At first, I thought that it was connected solely to a need to be speaking around the theme of discipleship and giving, however, with further reflection, prayer and discussion, I see this as being much more than that – It is about relationship. It is about our relating to our Father in heaven, and to our fellow human beings (those who know Jesus and those we are called to guide toward him).