North Highland United Methodist Church
Sunday, November 29, 2020
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

July 2015

Beyond the Margins
This Sunday we will be reading the Parable of the Sower from Mark’s gospel. In this parable Jesus tells of a fairly reckless sounding, seed-flinging farmer, who sends the seeds beyond the margin of the intended field. Because this parable was also the text for the sermon I shared at Annual Conference, I have given it quite a bit of time and thought.
Because Jesus is telling this parable as he is beginning to explain what God’s kingdom—what God’s reign is intended to mean, and to be, it seems reasonable that the farmer in the parable is Jesus. Jesus’ intent was for all to be included in the wholeness—the shalom of God. In the days of Jesus those on the margins were the poor, the infirm, and those considered to be of lesser heritage. Yet this seed is being flung right out there, far beyond the border of the field.
How does this understanding of the parable speak to the church, or more specifically North Highland UMC? Where are the margins and who are in the margins where our seeds of outreach could be flung? A big concern across the denomination are the fewer numbers of people attending churches. Here at NHUMC we have said goodbye to six active members who have moved away, and said goodbye to two who have moved into eternity. How might we invite others into the congregation to fill this void? This is the time we fling seeds of love, acceptance and welcome to anyone outside of our congregation—or in other words, it’s time to fling seeds!
Pastor Lou