Day 97 | Wednesday, 24 June 2020
Day 97 | Wednesday, 24 June 2020
See you at noon for prayer.
Last Saturday I shared with you the parable of the sower from the message and the three synoptic gospels. I said I would return to this parable. Today, I have the passage from Mark from The Message and from the Contemporary English Bible.
Mark 4:3-8 (Message)
3 "Listen. What do you make of this? A farmer planted seed. 4 As he scattered the seed, some of it fell on the road and birds ate it. 5 Some fell in the gravel; it sprouted quickly but didn't put down roots, 6 so when the sun came up it withered just as quickly. 7 Some fell in the weeds; as it came up, it was strangled among the weeds and nothing came of it. 8 Some fell on good earth and came up with a flourish, producing a harvest exceeding his wildest dreams. 9 "Are you listening to this? Really listening?"
Mark 4:3-9 CEB
3 “Listen to this! A farmer went out to scatter seed. 4 As he was scattering seed, some fell on the path; and the birds came and ate it. 5 Other seed fell on rocky ground where the soil was shallow. They sprouted immediately because the soil wasn’t deep. 6 When the sun came up, it scorched the plants; and they dried up because they had no roots. 7 Other seed fell among thorny plants. The thorny plants grew and choked the seeds, and they produced nothing. 8 Other seed fell into good soil and bore fruit. Upon growing and increasing, the seed produced in one case a yield of thirty to one, in another case a yield of sixty to one, and in another case a yield of one hundred to one.” 9 He said, “Whoever has ears to listen should pay attention!”
Those of us who have done some gardening relate to this parable. Even in my small area of raised garden beds on the east side of our home, I have found that not all the seeds that I sow produce. There is a mystery involved in planting. Are the birds eating the seeds? Is there some other critter enjoying the tender young plants? Is the sun too hot on the plants? Is the seed to old and no longer viable?
I have looked at this parable and made a comparison to the message of Jesus the Christ and how it is received. Some hear the message of Jesus through other witnesses and they are like the road, a hard, beaten down path and the message gets walked on with no recognition. Then there are folks who get all caught up in the excitement of others who are receiving Jesus message. Isn’t it wonderful? They want to be part of this experience. The concept of being part of the Jesus parade begins to germinate but the ground is rocky, not capable of allowing the seed to root deeply. Soon, another exciting proposition becomes popular and off they go. No deep roots to support and nourish the germinated seed of Jesus love so it withers and does not become a good plant (habit).
There are some who hear the word of God, but they are focused on so many other activities that the Word of God gets choked out by other things which are deemed more important. The seed may have been planted, but the mind has been closed to any kind of growth or any new ideas. Then there are those who receive the message of Jesus and are completely open to its leading. They are like rich soil, eager to learn and grow in their faith. They are open to expanding their knowledge and they want their faith to grow so that they can share it with others. The good soil produces as the parable says, a great yield. Not everyone who listens, hears. Theses are just some of my thoughts.
Lord, how is our soil? How is our listening? God of grace, we are thankful for those who sowed your seeds in our lives. We are thankful for those who helped nurture and feed that seed so that it would mature and grow allowing us to be good disciples. Keep us growing and help us be sowers of Jesus love. Hear our prayers. Amen
Today: nurture your soil.
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Rev. Douglas Knopp, Pastor Emeritus