8 May 2012

Luke 8:1-15

"A sower went out to sow his seed." (v. 5)


The sowing process was labour intensive, with the seed held in a bag or upturned apron at the waist of the sower who dipped in a hand and scattered the seed onto the prepared soil.

But here is a different reading of today's story. Feel the rhythm of the words and sense the wonder of the growing in the darkness, the working with nature.

Dip and throw, dip and throw - just like my father did and his father before him.
Dip and throw, dip and throw - steady pace by steady pace.
Dip and throw, dip and throw - and the ground is seeded, the crop laid.

Row by row and line by line, dip and throw, dip and throw.
A rhythm and timing all its own.
Dip and throw. Dip and throw.
Then leave it.
For after the first work the growing is a matter for God.
It is God who sends the rain and the sunshine.

Dip and throw.
There are those who would say it's a wasteful way - dip and throw - but it was good enough for my ancestors and it's good enough for me.
Dip and throw.
Yes, some seed misses and hits the pathway, gets trampled and lost.
Some seed is carried by the birds and does nothing - but who am I to starve God's creatures.
Then there's the seed that falls in the hedgerow and chokes with the weeds there.
Dip and throw - dip and throw. Some is always lost but that's the way of all things.

Dip and throw, dip and throw.
Some seed hits the ploughed soil and roots deeply.
It grows straight and tall and ripens with the sunshine. Then, in due course, a harvest.

Dip and throw, dip and throw. Action and reaction.
Lost and found. Dying and growing.

Dip and throw, dip and throw. A small world, all in one space.
A refection of the wider world where the rhythms of life still offer us chance to grow or to be carried away, to choke or be trampled into the ground.

Dip and throw, dip and throw.
God calls us to be rooted and to grow: to form a harvest for the future that more seed may be made, the hungry fed and all find a field where they can be home.

Dip and throw, dip and throw.
Our task is to scatter the seed - not to worry about the place it chooses to grow or the harvest that will come about.

Just dip and throw, dip and throw.
As we grow, seed is scattered through our living and others are challenged to root and grow too.

Dip and throw, dip and throw. Ancient rhythms of life.
The heartbeat of our lives even today.
A continuity from the past for what the future may hold:
a continuity of God's providence and provision.

To Ponder

  • What sort of soil is your life for the word and life of God to enter and to make growth?
  • What rhythms of life dictate your pace or activity?

Bible notes author

The Revd Una McLean

Una is a Methodist minister currently working in North Wales. Before becoming a minister she worked as an occupational therapist for 20 years in fields as varied as elderly care, adult mental health and paediatrics.