Scripture: Matthew 13:1-9
Key verse: (3) And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow.
Reflection: This very well-known parable is commonly titled “The Parable of the Sower.” This parable is interesting because Jesus explains it a few lines later in verses 18-23: the seed is the Word of the Kingdom and the various soils represent people’s readiness and faithfulness as they receive the Word. Makes since, right? But why is it called “The Parable of the Sower?” With the provided interpretation, shouldn’t it be called “The Parable of the Soils” (as the CEB does). But with the Sower as the title character, I wonder how it might read if we are seen as the sower, instead of as the soil?
Imagine with me: You are a farmer and your livelihood is dependent on the “fruitfulness” of your harvest. Would you be as sporadic as this sower in spreading seed? Seed is very expensive so you must not waste any. How might you feel if you spread seed and it lands on the path, settles in the rocks, or is even lost in the thorns. That’s a waste! How might this change if you were only given a certain amount of seed? How intentional would you be with spreading the limited seed you are given as to not let any of it go to waste?
What if the seed we are given represents our time here on earth? How might you spread time-seed? Sporadic or intentional? We are all only given 24 hour-seeds a day; that is 1,440 minute-seeds a day or 86,400 second-seeds. We are gifted only a certain amount of time, and our life will not bear fruit if spent on a rough path, with no depth to grow. The same can be said if life is spent among the hardened and lifeless rocks or the thorns of greed, wealth, and power that chokes the life from us. But what if we spend our time-seed in good soil? The soil that welcomes you as you are and provides the nutrients for your life to grow and grow deep. Find your good soil! Spread seed in the good-soil places that energize you, those places where vulnerability is met with deep joy. How do you identify your good soil? Frederick Buechner would say that your life’s good soil “is where your greatest joy meets the world’s greatest need.” Where is that for you?
Prayer: I walk on the path and the soil is hard and shallow. I walk on the rocks and my foot slips and I stumble. I walk among the thorns; I am cut by the sharpness and try to leave but the glimpse of a rose lures me back. Guide my feet, O Lord, to walk in the good soil, soil that nurtures my soul, soil where I can grow closer to you. Amen.
Author: Ben Brannan
[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].