7.9.11

TC 2011: Seeds Planted


"Sower with the Setting Sun" by Van Gogh




Jesus told many stories. They are known as parables. Interesting, shocking, counter-cultural, and confusing, these stories have oft been discussed. This year, at TC 2011, we have lived one...

A farmer went out to sow his seed. This farmer, however, was strange. Apparently overburdened with an abundance of seed he abandoned the normal practice of plowing and carefully planting and went with the scattering method. That is, he walked around scattering seed all over the place.

Now, that seed did what you would expect it might. Some landed on the path and birds came and ate it. Some landed in rocky soil. It quickly took root and grew but when the sun came out, it withered for it had no roots. Some landed among the thorns and though the seeds grew, the thorns choked out the plants. Finally, some landed on good soil where it produced a massive crop. 

This weekend that farmer came among us; our God and Lord who is indeed burdened with a superabundance of blessing. He scattered that seed in our fellowship with all the gusto and joy of someone who carries such good news of such a Kingdom as God's. And that seed, that good news, was met with a response. When asked which of us wanted to be part of God's kingdom, to be His people, we all responded "Yes!". 

But now, oh Lord, we pray that we would all be good soil. Jesus explained that parable after he told it. The birds are the evil one, snatching away what God has sown. The rocky soil is the man who hears the news with joy but develops no root and so trouble and persecution destroy the plant. The seed in the thorns is the plant choked out by the worries of this world and the deceitfulness of wealth. And the truth is that we each face these problems. None of us are immune to the evil one; only through you, Lord Jesus, can we be protected. None of us just have roots, as if automatically and without effort. We must echo the words of Paul and, to the end of taking root in the gospel of truth, struggle with all of your energy, God, which so powerfully works within us. Finally, we all have now stepped back into 'the world' (though we never totally leave it behind, for the world dwells within us as well as around us) and must deal with both the worries of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth (for we are all wealthy) in such a way that our faith does not get choked out. For that as well, we need your help Lord, for it is your peace that surpasses all understanding which overcomes our worries your generosity and humility which exposes the deceitfulness of wealth. 

Lord, we pray that we would all be good soil, producing a crop a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown.

Amen.  

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