Wednesday 10 February 2021

Bible Book:

As he said this, he called out, 'Let anyone with ears to hear listen!' (v. 8)

Luke 8:4-15 Wednesday 10 February 2021

Psalm 75: 1-7


I like the pictures of an artist called Bridget Reilly. She became famous for her dazzling black-and-white images, but then she turned to colour, and began making pictures which explored how colours change when she laid them alongside each other, so that a pink might have quite a different effect depending on whether the next colour was blue, white or pale green.

The idea of laying one colour alongside another gives us a useful clue to parables. A parable also sets two things alongside each other, so that we can see each in the light of the other and understand both more deeply. But different people will see different things, depending on where they are coming from. There is no single right answer.

Perhaps this helps us understand why Jesus chose to teach so often by telling stories – parables which set one thing alongside another. In thinking about the relationship between the two themes, different insights and comparisons spring to mind, no matter how often you read the parable. So in reading Jesus’ parable of the sower, this time I’m struck by the negative impact of so much loss on the sower. The seed that falls on the path, on the rocks, among the thorns, is all lost – and that means less food for the sower and his family from one harvest to the next, even if the seed falling on good soil does produce phenomenally well. Perhaps I’m noticing that aspect of the story, this time round, because just at the moment so many people are facing economic hardship as they struggle to reach the end of the month.

So if the parable works as a story of how God’s word is shared among us, then one of the things it communicates is a sense of loss, worry and sadness for the sower. The harvest is not as large as it might have been. This isn’t the sower’s fault, but the consequences are real and painful. Alongside the delight in the harvest is this regret – it could have been even better. "Let anyone with ears to hear, listen."


To Ponder:

  • How far is it possible for ‘bad soil’ to become ‘good soil’? What factors might lead to this change?
  • Where in your faith community do you see seed in good soil, which is bearing a harvest?
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