My family and I recently watched the newest “How to Train Your Dragon” movie, or new “Toothless” movie as my kids call it. There is a central idea in the movie, that a secret dragon land can be found where the earth ends. I am always fascinated by how movies depict the “ends of the earth”. In the cartoon movie“Sinbad”, yup, eons ago w/ Brad Pitt pre-Angelina, the movie showed an actual drop-off from the ocean wherein the boat that they were sailing on the water essentially began to float in the emptiness. But in this movie, I found it interesting, that they chose to demonstrate the end as a waterfall-pit. Basically, it was like a huge toilet bowl flush, and upon entering in, you were then float flying to the secret land of the dragons. Where am I going with this? Well, Matt. 28:19 tells us to go and make disciples of all the nations… and Acts follows up on the same concept –
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
Do I think that this means we are to go on a quest to “the ends of the earth”? No. But I do think that this might just mean something larger than, as the song says, “Go Tell it on a Mountain”. This is not a one and done scenario. We are instructed to repeatedly, consistently, and demonstratively echo the message of Jesus to All. Those. Around Us. Pressure? Yes. Helper? Also, yes. We have the Holy Spirit (see verse above) and note that we are not commanded to do anything we are not fully equipped by God to do. He does not set us up for failure. The only failing is if we choose not to do it.
Luke chapter 8 tells about the Parable of the Sower. It begins like this:
“Afterwards he was traveling from one town and village to another, preaching and telling the good news of the kingdom of God.” The “he” here is Jesus. So… lets pause for a second and think about what that would look like today. If Jesus was walking on this earth, here and now, in all the emotional, socio-economical, and political chaos, what would that look like for him to travel from one town and village to another telling the good news? My thought is, he wouldn’t plan his visits around certain “bad parts” of town, nor would he spare talking to those he considered to have “strong” political perspectives. There would be no concern for him in sharing the good news with those struggling, hurting, confused, or disillusioned, and he wouldn’t limit his conversations to the optimal convenient time. Well? Neither should we.
The Parable of the Sower and it’s following explanation (Luke 8:4-8 and 8:11-15) isn’t to give cause for whom we should share the hope of our faith with, instead, it is to express that once the seed (aka word of God) is sown, the cultivation of that seed varies. Not that it admonishes any further action on our part – “Well I already told them once so that’s that”, but to encourage the sowing of seed despite the appearance of cultivation. It is our job as followers of Christ to actually follow his lead and speak hope and life and the promise of God’s Kingdom unto the ends of the earth. Our obedience cannot depend on whether we (in all our flawed judgement) think the receiver is “good ground”. We must choose to be the good ground ourselves, and thus in producing fruit, we in turn sow more seed. So, remain in Christ (Jn 15:1-8). Bear fruit (He is the vine; we are the branches). Leave the gardening to the ultimate Gardener.
what is "spark"?
Its a small thing - like the flash on a spark plug that hopefully ignites something bigger to propel you forward.