“But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”

Mark 4:29

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Mark 4:26-34

Can you allow yourself to be surprised by God? Jesus, in the parable about the mustard seed, surprises his listeners. He tells them that this small seed is like the kingdom – it grows into one of the biggest shrubs. They may have been surprised to hear Jesus compare the Kingdom of God to a seed. They may also have been more surprised to hear that the kingdom is something that slowly, gently and mysteriously grows in God’s time.

The Kingdom of God is always different to what we think or imagine. In fact, it is safe to say that if we think we understand God or know what God wants, we are probably not on the right track. God is a God of surprises. Our ideas of God always fall short of who God really is. This is why we ought always to be very careful when we apply ‘rules’ to others or tell others what we think God wants them to do. The truth is, we simply do not know, and the God of surprises is always other than what we think. God continues to surprise us with mercy, generosity, hospitality and unconditional love.

It is dangerous – and one might even say a perversion of our Christian faith – to think and believe that we have made it. It is sad when Christ-followers think that they have all the answers and spend a lot of their time and energy telling others that they are wrong. We can so easily lay burdens on other’s shoulders because we believe we know God and have all the answers.

The Kingdom of God is always bigger, more mysterious, and more surprising than we think. Jesus invites us to be open and willing to be surprised by God. We are invited to an adventure with God and not a rule book.

When has God surprised you? How open are you to our surprising God? In what ways might you allow yourself to be more open to the adventure that God wants to take you on?

Lord God,

You are indeed a God of surprises. You invite me into an adventure with you. Give me the grace to be open to the many surprises – big and small – that you offer me every day. When I think I know you and have all the answers, nudge me with your Spirit so that I am reminded that you will surprise me yet again.


Fr Russell Pollitt SJ

Fr Russell Pollitt SJ is the Director of the Jesuit Institute and is interested in the impact that communications technology has on society and spirituality. He regularly comments on South African Politics and various issues in the Catholic Church.

director@jesuitinstitute.org.za @rpollittsj
See more from Russell Pollitt SJ
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