It will soon be officially summer in the U.S., a time when many things grow into new creations. It takes many things working together to grow a seed into a plant that then flowers and produces. There is a balance that must exist between the various parts of nature. As the sun, soil, and rain work together over time. It doesn’t happen overnight as there is a process to growing that happens one step at a time. Much like beaders string pearls, the strand grows into a new creation as each bead is strung.
It is said that in the Hebrew alphabet every letter holds a positive and a negative charge. And in this so do the words that they eventually form. The Hebrew word “charaz” is the word for bead or stringing of such. And so, it is often used to describe the cobbling together of various related scripture or stories to teach a valuable lesson. The Hebrew rabbi would spin stories out in images with wisdom sayings after wisdom sayings. Or as we often refer to them as parables. They are designed to tell a larger truth. This occurs by zooming in on details or a way to tell the whole by examining the parts. Christ did this by describing a picture and telling stories with a variety of perspectives.
Learning to Grow
Jesus taught in parables to explain how Christianity may have small beginnings but will grow into a worldwide community of believers. This is illustrated clearly in the Parable of the Mustard Seed. This smallest of all seeds becomes the largest of all garden plants. As it grows long branches that birds can make nests in. God is consistently building a worldwide Kingdom. And it is through the teachings of the parables that we, like a seed, can grow into a new creation. One by one as pearls on a string we build into a full and beautiful strand both individually and collectively as the body of Christ.
I love a good story and although some of the parables make me think hard, it is crucial to understand how they are important to our Christian walk or process. When we take the time to realize that the stories of the Bible are stories created to help us grow in our relationship with God, they gain even more importance. As it is through the stories that we learn how the Kingdom of God builds.
Jesus used many similar stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they could understand.Mark 4:33 (NLT)
When we read or hear the stories of Jesus, we have to think about things differently. We learn to see the positive and negative charges together as the Hebrew language intended through the “charaz.” Letters that string into words, words into sentences, and sentences into stories. We see the ordinary and the spectacular together. The things of everyday life and the experiences of once in a lifetime blend and grow into a new creation.
Upside Down Growing
In the parables, we learn to see differently as we see the value in what the world throws away and learn the importance of throwing away the things that the world holds most valuable. Everything appears upside down until it doesn’t. And through this process of one by one, we grow and stretch reaching to get outside of ourselves so we can view the magnificent wonder of the universe. It is when we reach this level that we find joy and the fullness of growing into a new creation.
When we step back and see the parable of the mustard seed, we see that we are the mustard seeds that grow into the shade of welcome, relief, justice, and comfort. The Apostle Paul reminds us that our confidence in faith however is not within ourselves but in Christ, the one who saves us. It is in this we can live out loud and let the world know that we are a new creation. We become the living parables of the Kingdom and that it is the presence of Christ that makes us new. Joy comes when we grow and that starts as a tiny seed that goes through a process. It is not a process that creates burden but joy as we discover more about Christ day by day pearl by pearl.
Won’t you challenge yourself to grow daily as pearls on a strand allowing Christ to create a new creation within you? Find your convictions in the parables of the Bible as you grow. Experience the motivation of joy as you develop in your process. And lastly, surround yourself in the comfort of knowing that all of our growing processes together will one day develop fully into the magnificent Kingdom of God.
Love in Christ,
We are a new creation in Jesus Christ.Lailah Gifty Akita
What are Your Thoughts?
Have you considered how the parables of the Bible help you grow into the joy of the Kingdom of God? Share your thoughts on how the positive and negative charges of the parables have helped you see things differently and grow as a Christian.