“‘Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it…. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty-fold and sixty-fold and a hundredfold.’ And he said, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear.'” (Mark4:3-9 ESV)
Recently the slugs and snails have been after my dahlias and lupins. I have been dismayed at how much damage can be done in such a short time over the mid-summer nights. Brutal has been the decimation. Total the annihilation of some plants right down to the soil, just gone, eaten for breakfast.
The aggressive nature of the onslaught by the slugs and snails brought the parable of The Sower into sharp relief again.
The Sower is Jesus’ oh-so-familiar key-note speech. If we are fortunate, it is told to us from an early age, as a part of our Christian Sunday School heritage. Everyone knows the parable, right? We hear it, but see it as a fine Sunday morning or bedtime story-line to agree with, but perhaps no longer in need to dig deep, to examine ourselves, to hold ourselves up in its light.
To Jesus’ hearers and disciples it was received with initial bewilderment but its truth is also for today’s listeners of the Word and disciples. It is an explanation of a fallen world’s confrontational nature against the Kingdom of God. It is His revelation of a world order he came to bring victory over, through His death and resurrection.
Time has done nothing to lessen any of its cutting-edge truth and people are still in need of hearing the Good News of salvation from us.
Personal experience shows me distraction, dissipation, obstruction, persecution and antagonism will always find Christians in the world. Somewhere it lurks waiting in us, or in the world, for an opportunity to separate us from, or limit, the Love of God which bears Kingdom fruit.
Those poor dahlias and lupins had been grown in the protection of a greenhouse but as soon as they were put out into the garden there was total onslaught. Not wanting to use killers I was up early and out late at night finding and removing the perpetrators to limit the damage done and enable the flowers to bloom. By Jesus’ Grace, we too are able to blossom and bear fruit in keeping with the Kingdom of God.
Prayer: Lord, Your Love is amazing, Your Faithfulness never-ending. Please show us the birds, weeds and thorns in our lives so that we may recognize and resist them and in turn hand them over to You to be ministered to, that we may produce fruit in keeping with the Kingdom, in Jesus’ name. Amen.