Text: Matthew 13: 1-9, 18-23
We are shifting our focus to Jesus’ teaching moments. He seemed to enjoy teaching in parables. As I pondered on the gospel this week, I realized that I have never preached on a parable. Also, I am always learning new things about myself, for example I am not a fan of preaching on the parables.
Let me clarify. It is not the parable, but the parable is ALWAYS paired with an explanation. This explanation can, and often does, feel restrictive for the potential messages to be preached. As a preacher, I have been called to interpret the texts, to breath new life into them, and to share that with all of you. These parable interpretations, however, seem to offer the end product of that process on a silver platter. So, I must tackle the challenge and offer new life into our text. Although I do not make promises, I will try to do just that.
This morning we have the “Parable of the Sower”. This farmer, or sower, is foolishly throwing the seed without caution to where they may fall. Some of these seeds fall in good, prepared soil. Some seeds fall upon a path where the birds eat them. Some seeds fall on rocky ground and was unable to root, so unfavorable weather killed them. Some seeds fall among other plants, which choke them.
I am a farmer’s daughter, although due to unfortunate circumstances my parents lost the farm before I was born. I was, however, raised with the mind-set and agricultural appreciation of a “farmer’s daughter”. I must confess though, I am glad that the family focused more on hogs than corn. My mother and I have black thumbs. My sister, who has degrees in Agribusiness, says if it doesn’t make noise she forgets to water (or feed) it.
But, even I know that a seed requires good soil, good weather, and water to grow. You don’t throw the seed out onto unprepared ground and expect it to grow, right?
We often focus our attention on the soil. This focus on the soil is restrictive. It is not only restrictive, but also self-centered and sinful. Yes, sinful. Martin Luther defined sin as being curved in on the self, or self-centeredness. We have made this parable become about us and our readiness or preparation to receive the seed of God’s word, which is grace. It also becomes about the readiness of others to receive the seed of God’s word (grace). Read the rest of this entry »