The Fourth Sunday After Pentecost, June 17, 2018

Old Testament: Ezekiel 17:22–24

Epistle: 2 Corinthians 5:1–10 (11–17)

Gospel: Mark 4:26–34

The Word of the Lord grows.  It may seem imperceptible and insignificant at first, like the tiniest grain of mustard seed (Gospel).  But the Word is sown and therefore grows, and it does not return empty (Isa. 55:11).  In today’s readings we see how the Kingdom of God spreads out like a large tree in which His people have sanctuary from all that would harm them (Old Testament).  The action of the Word is powerful and happens without human assistance, but instead is the work of the Holy Spirit (Gospel, see Luther’s Small Catechism, Article 3 of the Creed).  God gives prosperity to what appears insignificant, beginning with Jesus Christ Himself who was made man and became Sin for us, in order that we might flourish in the righteousness of God (Introit).

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