A sower went out to sow. and as he sowed, some seed fell on the path…
Some fell on rocky ground…some seed fell among thorns…
some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit.
It is not difficult to find contemporary examples of the various responses to the word depicted in Jesus’ parable. Having the word choked out by “the cares of the world and the lure of wealth” seems to be a particular problem in North America. One should be careful, however, to avoid equating the various types of soil with a particular person or group, and especially to avoid equating oneself or one’s community with the good soil. If we are honest with ourselves, we can probably find evidence of several kinds of soil in our lives and in our congregations on any given day. It is noteworthy that Jesus does not use the parable to exhort hearers to “be good soil,” as though we could make that happen. If there is any hope for the unproductive soil, it is that the sower keeps sowing generously, extravagantly, even in the least promising places. Jesus’ investment in his disciples shows that he simply will not give up on them, in spite of their many failings. We trust that he will not give up on us either, but will keep working on whatever is hardened, rocky, or thorny within and among us. We trust in his promise to be with us to the end of the age.
May we receive the seed of the gospel.
Reflect on the description of the types of soil. What are the implications for you?
A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and birds came and ate it up.
Some fell on rocky ground, where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep,
and when the sun rose it was scorched,
and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it.
But some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit,
a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.
Whoever has ears ought to hear.
Although the life of a person is in a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God.
Keep the soil healthy and the bad seed won’t grow.
Seeds do not grow without soil; our soil and our favorable environment is the presence of God.
Nothing ever grows without a seed, and nothing ever changes without a dream.