The Parable of the Sower Resown

Parable of the SowerThis is our pastor’s article for our congregation’s newsletter for February 2017.

 

The farmer trundles into the field to plant the seed.  You think the farmer blind, for he scatters his seeds like a crazy, reckless, unpredictable man.  Is he a farmer, at all?

The seeds scatter on asphalt and gravel, among the weeds and thorns, where the soil is thick and dark or thin and delicate.  Regardless if the soil is a rich loam or sunbaked clay, the seeds land wherever they fall.

He casts His seeds on Sodom and roots burrow their way, beginning to grow.  The rest fall on stony hearts, which will one day curse the fire and ash falling from the sky.  He takes His seed to Nineveh, and roots make their home in the soil of 120,000 repentant hearts.

God casts His seed on His Israel, in Moses, Joshua, Caleb, and Rahab.  They germinate, find a home, and mature.  In others, the seed only finds the soil of concrete refusing to receive the seed of the Word.

No matter the ground, our Lord goes to plant His Word.  He scatters the seed in this place and another.  Everywhere, into all nations, He comes preaching the Word, whether in season or out.  In the field and the burrows, embraced or scorned, loved or rejected, the content of the soil does not matter.

The Sower goes to plant the seed of His Word.  Some He places into your heart.  The seed of Christ should grow deep roots, for our Lord’s seed is never bad.  Does our Lord’s mercy, does His grace, live within you and remain?

Jesus comes to give.  Will His seed flourish in a heart like yours, a heart always eager to do what is right, so long as you are pleased and delighted?  The Word shapes your heart to reject temptation, as long as you are only tempted to do what you don’t enjoy.  He gives you the heart to love others, so long as they are kind to you, flatter you, and do what you want.  Ouch!

The Way, Truth, and Life comes to you, as He does to me.  You think, contrasted against the hearts of street walkers and thieves, your heart is as clean as can be.  The Lord placed His seed in you because His eye glimmered on the fertile soil inside you, finding a kind, generous, and honorable person.  Such is the lie you love to believe, the lie you tell yourself, which puffs up your sagging self-worth.

Repent and believe, believe the Truth.  In the words of Pontius Pilate, “What is truth?”  Our Lord, the Sower, plants His seed inside you, which falls on hardpan soil.  Where rocks are rare within you, wild and harmful plants grow without boundary.  Where weeds are wanting, birds of the air loiter to devour the seed of the Word before root and leaf can sprout.

Behold, the seed of God’s Word doesn’t test for fertile soil.  The Word does what He does and creates new soil, no matter how stony or weed-infested your heart may be.  Jesus doesn’t search for the right people to believe.  He doesn’t scout for the best planting ground for His Word.  He plants the seed of His Word and does His work within you.

His Word—the Word of grace and absolution—transforms you into a productive soil.  The gray, lifeless stone within you begins to blossom into new life.  He transforms you into a field of salvation; such is Jesus’ work to you and for you.  He changes your heart into a place for His Word, His divine life, His body and blood, His Spirit.

For the Son packs Himself into the seed of His Word, the Son, dead and risen for you.  The One, who once took into Himself your sins, responds in love and chooses to endure sacrifice instead of experiencing eternity apart from you.  He let the demons of death devour Him, allowing the weeds of justice to strangle Him.  Why did He endure such hardship?  So you may be His own.

We planted Him in the poorest of soil, a rock-hewn tomb, empty of all life, incapable of supporting life.  From the place of death sprouts life in His resurrection.  Our Lord fills His life into the seed He sows.

Stare in wonder at the life-giving hands of God, who works all for you.  He plants, and you receive.  He changes your rock into fertile soil, and you receive.  God gives growth to His seed, and you receive.  God keeps you in the faith, speaks His forgiveness into you, giving to you, once more.

Rest in the fortress of our God, who overcomes all our foes.  Yes, the vultures of the Satan seek to snatch the Word away.  So, be where Jesus is for you and all will be well.  The thorns of cares, riches, and the pleasures of life, the burning sun of temptations will come your way.  So, be where Jesus is for you and all will be well.

None of these foes will tear out the seed within you.  Through Word and Sacrament, Jesus, the Sower Himself, protects you.  He never leaves you forlorn.  He never abandons you.  Every week, He comes to you where He promises to be to plant Himself within you.

The Sower goes out to sow His seed, planting His seed inside you.  Soon, the harvest will come, and He will find in you a crop, a hundredfold, matured into eternal life.  Amen.

 

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