When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold.” As he said this, he called out, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”
Then his disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but to others I speak in parables, so that ‘looking they may not perceive, and listening they may not understand.’
‘Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones on the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe only for a while and in a time of testing fall away. As for what fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance.”
~ Luke 8:4 - 15
I grew up in a farming community. I can tell you a lot about the importance of rotating crops, the concern about erosion and at what grade you can work the side of a hill so it doesn't wash away, and the importance of making sure the ground is ready to receive the seed so that there is a greater chance of a fruitful harvest.
So when Jesus begins to share the parable about a seed, it tends to capture my attention.
Have you ever thought of yourself as a seed? And if so, where in this parable do you see yourself?
That's the thing about parables, they are about us. It's not a story about pointing fingers, Jesus is sharing that there are different kinds of ways to live a faithful life. It is meant to make you think, not of others, but of yourself.
Even today, as I read over words that Luke shares, I find myself thinking about times when I have been a seed, and I have to admit, I have allowed myself to fall into various situations. My time on the pathway, and times that I have fallen among thorns, serve as times that I realize that is not where I want to be. Unlike the seed that gets planted in the field in specific rows and placement within those rows, we possess the ability to change where it is that we find ourselves.
It is up to us each day to seek a place where our lives can grow in a healthy place and produce the harvest that God seeks.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Dear Lord, each day help me to grow in a way that You would want me to grow. May I find Your presence in every breath, and in all that I do. Amen.
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.