The scheme for May – June can be found here
Pr 7-9; Mat 13:1-35; Psalm 77
The parable of the Sower is to be found in all three of the synoptic gospels. It’s message is pretty unambiguous, yet it constantly needs to be heard afresh – as the Gospel always does.
It reveals four ways in which we respond to God’s word of Life, the seed. For some, it is in one ear and out of the other – for another it is as it were a mos wonderful thing and we are for a season excited about it. But, it has fallen on rocky ground. The heart is not prepared to receive it. Soon enough another thing will capture our attention and we will be receiving that ‘with joy’. Surely as we consider the many many who ‘responded to the gospel’ at mass crusades, given the fall away rate (about 95%), we find many who are in this category.
But what of us? We who call ourselves Christians – who worship regularly etc.etc.? It seems to me that we fall into the latter two categories. The fruit bearers, and those for whom ‘all the demands of life’ get in the way of Life. This following Jesus takes determination. Many are the distractions, many the avenues in which life overloads us, squeezing the joy of the gospel from us. Chief amongst those is of course money, which so demands our attention – and how much more so in our age than in first century Palestine. Then there is family, which Jesus often warns us turns us from following him – why the call of the kingdom must even be allowed to keep us from the funeral of our parents . . . and so on
As many have noted, the difference in the reception of the word depends on the soil.
Good soil is that heart which has repented towards God – somewhat like that of Cornelius in Acts 10. To our way of thinking, he sounds as if he is already converted He was a devout man who feared God with all his household; he gave alms generously to the people and prayed constantly to God. But in reality to use the language of the New testament, he lived Repentantly. He feared God, he was generous with all he had for the good of those who went without, and he prayed. Thus his soil was ready. Note that there is no ‘Repentance’ in the account of Cornelius – he is already living towards God – he is thus ready for the seed of the life of God to be sown. And when it does – his life bears much fruit – Although we only know about Cornelius incipient faith – his life is the gateway to life for all who live with him.
Above all, we should give thanks to God – for his word Always bears fruit somewhere, and the fruit it bears vastly outdoes the ‘lost grains’
Glory to God!