Fairmont Presbyterian Church offers both in-person and online worship!
You can stay up to date with Fairmont’s response to the COVID pandemic by clicking HERE.
Thank you for your patience and compassion, and for being the body of Christ.
- Please keep a mask on at all times inside the building
- Windows will be open and fans on for ventilation, it will be cold, so please wear your jackets (8:30am service)
- Please maintain social distancing and refrain from close contact
- Social distancing will be maintained
- The congregation will not be singing in worship
- There will be no coffee hour after worship
- Offerings will be collected in stationary baskets
- If you feel ill, please join us online at 10:30
- We will be distributing communion in individually sealed cups
- Please be patient and kind
- Greet one another with joy and thanksgiving
- Wear your nametag
- Smile with your eyes and embrace with your words, not your arms
- Always remember that this is a work in progress
- Always remember that the safeguards we enact are to help make everyone feel safe and welcome
Casual Worship Service – 8:30am, Fellowship Hall
Traditional Worship Service – 10:30am, Sanctuary
Traditional Online Worship Service – 10:30am, Livestream
Reflection on Scripture
May 11, 2021 – Mark 4:2-9, 13-20
Parables are not comforting moral fables. If you are looking for that sort of thing, you may find Aesop more to your liking. Parables are rhetorical time bombs often camouflaged as moral allegory designed to detonate deep inside our spiritual imaginations or consciences. Every parable has its sting.
Teaching, healing, and exorcising the occasional demon among the agrarian folks of the lower galilee, Jesus tells them a simple yarn. A person goes out to sow some seed and throws it all over the place. Some lands on the pathway where it gets gobbled up. Some lands on rocky ground where it sends up shoots but quickly dies for lack of roots. Some lands where the weeds choke it out. So far, the sower is 0-3. But finally, some of the seeds hit the sweet spot of good soil and they produce a crazy abundant yield. With Jesus’ pastoralist listeners we all nod in agreement. Yes, oftentimes our best plans don’t work out, but sometimes there is extraordinary abundance.
But then, Jesus offers up his own explanation of the parable. Did I say that you were sower? I’m sorry, I should have explained myself. You are not the sower. You are the dirt. I am the seed. Hunh? Wait a second, . . . ouch.
Parables are not tidy reassuring fables. They are designed to prick the conscience of the proud and force everyone to confront a choice, in the original Greek a crisis. God’s word is not just abundant, it is profligate. And yet, three-fourths of it falls on either deaf ears or unresponsive lives resulting in absolutely nothing. The transformation that Jesus’ message brings, which can be astounding, only happens to a few, perhaps a fourth of those who receive Jesus’ message. This is what happens when Jesus shows up. For most people, absolutely nothing happens.
The strongest antidote to saccharine-coated Christianity lapsing into license is Jesus himself. Yes, God’s love is abundant. Yes, God’s invitation is for all people. And yes, we have every opportunity to receive God’s revelation into our lives where it can and will transform us from within. But do we?
Looking around at the world, there is a lot of seed falling on unreceptive soils. Jesus would be quick to remind us this is nothing new. Our ability to change others’ responsiveness is severely limited. Dirt is dirt. What matters instead is what I let in and permit to grow within me.