North Alabama Conference
898 Arkadelphia Road
Birmingham, AL 35204
Within Alabama: 800-239-7950
|As a member or alternate member of Annual Conference, you will receive an e-devotional once a week until Annual Conference 2014 begins. Please use these meditations, based on the theme for this year, to prepare for our worshipful work together.
Change the Conditions
When a great crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from one city after another, he spoke to them in a parable: “A farmer went out to scatter his seed. As he was scattering it, some fell on the path where it was crushed, and the birds in the sky came and ate it. Other seed fell on rock. As it grew, it dried up because it had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorny plants. The thorns grew with the plants and choked them. Still other seed landed on good soil. When it grew, it produced one hundred times more grain than was scattered.” As he said this, he called out, “Everyone who has ears should pay attention.”
–Luke 8:4-8 (CEB)
Have you ever visited a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)? Looking into the eyes of hope-languished, powerless and vulnerable babies is sickening, saddening and can even stir feelings of anger…because these little ones not of their own fault were born into or with “conditions” leaving them fighting for their lives and clinging to survival. No one can gaze into a PICU and depart unscathed: the parent, the family member, the medical staff, the stranger, etc. Anyone encountering these frail babies connected to ventilators, intravenous lines, feeding tubes, suction pumps, catheters and other machines can’t resist the unction to change the “conditions” impacting the beautiful creation lying before them!
The conditions (illness, disease or injury) affecting the babies in PICU hindering her/his physical wellness are likened to the conditions in Luke 8:5-7. God enters a world filled with a range of conditions (uncertain paths, predators, stony roads, thorns) – scattering grace and salvation for all to receive. However, many are stricken by conditions which hamper their reception of God’s life giving – mind, body, and soul strengthening seed.
Conditions are indeed a reality of this broken world. Yet, Jesus challenges us to look into our surrounding Intensive Care Units – family, church, local community, city/town – and become sickened, saddened and even angered by the conditions (broken families, divisive politics, hatred, homelessness, human trafficking, poverty, racism, sexism, war, etc.) and become moved to change them. Inspired by love, we’re summoned to change conditions for all God’s children – making possible all soil (hearts) are fertile places where God’s seed of grace multiplies “a hundred times as much as had been planted!”
Out of an intensely broken world, we come to you, God of the Garden, feeling broken ourselves. Yet, we are ever aware of the abundant seeds of healing you sow among us. Bring us to our knees to work the soil and care for the seeds for they are your renewing gifts of hope for the sickness of the world. Amen.
Rev. Marcus J. Singleton
Living Faith Community (Hoover)