Sunday 13 July 2014

Bible Book:

“Other seed fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!” (v. 9)

Matthew 13: 1-9, 18-23 Sunday 13 July 2014


Today is Action for Children Sunday. On their website, you can find more details about thecharity, and worship resources for this Sunday (including further material on thispassage).

The Parable of the Sower is one of the better known parables.Reading it as an allegory, with the different types of ground onwhich the seed falls representing the varied responses that peoplemake to 'the seed of the gospel' (ie the good news about Jesus),has been popular since the days of the early Church. There will beinsights for us in going down that path, looking at how our ownresponses to what we understand as the seed of the gospel have beenlike the seeds falling on various types of ground. It's possible tolook at our lives over time and see ourselves behaving likedifferent types of ground at various times in our lives.

However, there's another route for our thinking that may becloser to the original telling of the parable. Suppose the parablewas told, as others were, with the punchline at the end and inorder to illicit a change of mind and heart in the hearer. A clueto reading it like this lies in understanding the normal farmingpractice in Jesus' day.

The standard practice was, unlike our gardening, to scatterseeds over the whole area and then plough the seed in as theground, whatever its complexion, was turned over. What might wethen see in the surprise of a harvest, thirty, sixty, even ahundredfold from such a very unlikely field?

Also, without the sowing there can, of course, be noharvest.

To Ponder

  • What might the broadcast method of sowing with seed going onall sorts of ground indiscriminately say to you about practicalChristianity today? Is there a generosity that appearswasteful?
  • The plentiful harvest comes as a wondrous surprise from a fieldsuch as this. When were you last surprised by God? Whathappened?
  • And is there an unpromising 'sowing' that, against the likelyodds, should be continued?


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