Wednesday, March 16, 2016
Again he began to teach beside the sea. Such a very large crowd gathered around him that he got into a boat on the sea and sat there, while the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. He began to teach them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” Mark 4:1-9
This story shows up in Matthew (Chapter 13), Mark (Chapter 4 above) and Luke (Chapter 8). Anything that shows up that often seems to call for even greater study. Now in my early days, I did not like this text. I have agrarian grandparents and one did not waste seed. In my mind, this sower wastes seed. He does not attend to the ground on which he spreads it. He just casts it all about, no matter what the prognosis for taking root seems to be.
But Jesus was up to something in this text. The sower casts seed trusting that even challenged ground will yield crops. The sower casts in hope. It seems to me that you and I should not prejudge whether the ground of someone’s heart will yield good crops or not. Instead, perhaps this parable may be inviting us to cast our best seed, God’s love and God’s word, everywhere, in hope.
Can you think of a place where you believe God’s love and God’s word might do little good? Cast it there anyway. Who knows? Not us, only God.