Message From the Pulpit – Proper 10 – July 12, 2020

The Parable of the Sower and the Seed; Sow Anyway! Matthew 13:3-23

Jesus told the parable of the sower and the seed.  “One day a farmer went out to sow his seed.  Some of the seed was eaten by the birds .  Some of the seed fell on rocky soil, where there was not enough soil for the seed to take root.  So the sun scorched and killed the seed.  Some of the seed fell on thorny soil and when the seed began to grow, the thorns choked the seed.  But some of the seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop – a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Jesus explained the parable to his disciples,.  The seed snatched by the birds is like the person who doesn’t understand the message, and the evil one snatches the message away before it can begin to grow in his or her heart,  the seed that fell on rocky soil is like the person who hears the good news and receives it joyfully, but it doesn’t take root.  When life gets hard, he turns away from God.  The seed that fell in the thorny soil is like the person who believes in God as long as life is going well.  But then worry and the deceitfulness of wealth begin to choke him, and that person never tells others about God.  The seed may live, but it doesn’t bear fruit.  But the seed that fell on good soil is like the person who hears the message, believes the message, even in tough times, and resists temptation and tells others about God, ringing many people to God.”

Jesus teaches that there are four kinds of soil: * Shallow,           * Rocky, * Thorny, * Good.

Only one of the soils will bear a harvest.  All of the other soils are worthless for farming.  In ministry we have seen how true this parable is.  We can share the good news that Jesus can be everyone’s Lord and Saviour and provide counselling and prayer support, but in many lives the seeds we have sown do not take root.  Some people hear the message scoff, and turn us off.  Others hear  the message, but it doesn’t take root in their lives.  They continue to live the way they always have, even if it hasn’t been healthy or productive.  Then there are some who hear the message and have  good intentions, but distractions get in the way, and before long they have turned away from God.  However, there are many who hear the message and give their lives to God, and now they take the message and share it with others.  They are making a positive difference in the world.  They are bearing fruit.

It would be easy to become discouraged when we see the seed fall on bad soil.  It would be tempting to quit.  But we learn through this parable that our responsibility is to sow anyway, leaving the results to God.

Think on these things!