The parable of the sower and being a producer
11"This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. 12Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved".
It can be difficult to let the word of God sink in, especially if our background has been one of neglect and you have been "walked over" all of your life. The means of coping have left its mark and now you are left with a hard exterior to shoulder the demands of daily life. It is difficult to enter into a Father relationship with God, when the role models have let you down. It can be difficult to let the belief that God loves and cares for you to soak in and be nurtured in you.
13Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.
Their life is in the limelight, on the rock, they are visible and life can be a pretty shallow and meaningless experience. Hey, they may even believe they are a rockstar! They understand the joy of life but when the darker underbelly of life is needed for growth they disappear.
14The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.
Being more of a "worry wart", I remember when I read this and actually realized that the thorns in life can be riches and pleasures as well as worries. I realized that a lot of the stresses I was having to deal with were to do with having plenty. Plenty of work meant cars to maintain, people to entertain, two houses with their accompanying bills to pay, more business admin, payroll and of course all sorts of taxes to keep abreast off, then there is the next business idea to be involved with.... Well, the last 10 years have made life much simpler for us, we still had all we needed and a lot of dross was loosened from our lives. As we rebuild I am very aware of the danger of cultivating thorns and not grain. Letting the peace of God rule as umpire over my life will help to identify the thorns!
15"But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop". As its coming into springtime, some of us will be out in the garden, digging out old roots of weeds, adding compost and maybe a few worms for added air and nutrients. What does the ground feel like? soft even bouncy, you may say, easy to handle, light; it just flows through your fingers.
It seems to me that there are contrasts between the first group of people whose lives are on the beaten path and these who are in a more secluded area like a garden. They have more space in their lives, their lives have boundaries and are not public areas to tread on. That's what gives them the ability for having "bounce" in life.
Being resilient in life is where the "Bounce' is. Maybe this is what is encouraged in Proverbs 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart,for it is the wellspring of life". We can let the Love of God dwell richly in us because we are not clinging onto anything else in the soil, we have room to let God's word produce a harvest of righteousness in us.
Lent I: Love for the Wilderness to Come - Sermon: Lent I Love for the Wilderness to Come Mark 1.9-15 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And ju...
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