Scripture: Mark 4:1-20
Key verse: (20) “And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”
Reflection: Today’s passage is the first parable in the gospel of Mark. Parables are rich stories with many layers of meaning. Almost every time I read a parable, I see something in a new way.
I wonder what it would be like to sow seeds so extravagantly that they fall all over the place. And I wonder how I would feel about the seeds that don’t grow and bear fruit. Three out of four seeds don’t produce any fruit. That might feel wasteful, or frustrating, or discouraging. But the seeds that bear fruit produce a ridiculous abundance of it! My feelings of frustration and discouragement are transformed into joy and hope.
For the early disciples, maybe this parable helped them to stay faithful when it felt that their efforts were useless. Sharing the good news might be frustrating if you don’t see many people respond. Investing energy into the good works of the kingdom might be discouraging if nothing develops with good results.
Then there is a story of abundance that transforms our faithfulness into joy and hope. There’s the family placed in safe housing after weeks in a shelter. There’s the child who passed the End of Grade test after weekly tutoring. There’s the teenager who stepped up to serve on a mission trip. When God’s word produces fruit, there is a ridiculous abundance that infuses our faithfulness with the hope to stay on the journey. Thanks be to God for the hundredfold harvest!
Prayer: Creator God, shift me from frustration to joy, from discouragement to hope. Give me the steadfastness to be faithful, trusting that your word will bear fruit in the world. Through Christ I pray. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].