Breathe in clear thoughts of peace and reflection as you prepare to hear God speak to you through the scripture and the writer. Put aside all the things the world says you have to accomplish today and use this time to rest in God’s presence.
Luke 8:4-15 (NRSV)
When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold.” As he said this, he called out, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”
Then his disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but to others I speak in parables, so that
‘looking they may not perceive,
and listening they may not understand.’
“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones on the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe only for a while and in a time of testing fall away. As for what fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance.
I love fresh strawberries and vegetables straight from a garden more than any other foods. Thankfully, I have a father who keeps us stocked with vegetables in the summer. Our apartment in downtown Nashville is not exactly conducive to gardening.
If there is one thing I have learned from my father and grandparents about gardening, it is the importance of the daily work. My dad spends hours preparing the soil and planting, but the work is far from finished. Maintaining the garden is a daily task of pulling weeds, watering, and tending the soil to ensure the vegetables will take root and produce. I think when we reflect on this parable, we all hope to be considered “good soil,” but without intentional, daily time spent in prayer, reading God’s word, meditation, and discussion with other believers, we become the thorns and the rock. We may have good intentions and even hear the call of the Lord, but without intentional work and effort, we will not bear the fruits of the Spirit.
God of life, you call us to bear the fruit of your love. Help us to put forth the effort and to pour our energy into creating hearts and minds that are cultivated and prepared to hear your call and to do your work. Give us the endurance and motivation needed to grow daily in your word and in your unending love. Amen.
Go with God.