Friday, July 8, 2011
As I write, the associate pastor of my church is jamming on his guitar and singing his heart out to the Lord. I love my church. It is a church that follows a weekly lectionary and this week's lessons really got under my skin.
The gospel lesson appointed for this week, the umpteenth week after Pentecost, is Matthew 13. You may recognize this as "The Parable of the Sower," at least that's what the subtitle in my Bible says. So here's my question; why do we call this the parable of the sower and then spend so much time thinking and talking about the quality of the soil? The vast majority of sermons and teachings I have heard or read on these verses exhort and admonish us to remove the rocks or watch out for the thorns.
I think that misses the point. I think the point is the sower sows lavishly in all kinds of soil and stuff generally springs up. God is generous. He sows lavishly and He wants us to do the same, to share His grace and His word abundantly without becoming soil inspectors.
The importance of this is emphasized in this week's OT lesson Isaiah 55 where the prophet reminds us that God's word "will accomplish what I [God] desires and achieve the purpose for which I [God] sent it." He further promises that "instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree, and instead of the briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord's renown." So maybe we should quit with the soil inspecting and just rejoice in the liberality of God. As we liberally slather on the sunscreen during this hot July, let's apply the Word of God just as liberally and see what He will do.