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Sowing Generously

‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.’
(Mark 4:3-8, NRSV)

I have shared a portion of The Parable of the Sower, which is included in the appointed lessons in the Daily Office lectionary for today. When you read this parable, do you focus on the seeds and where they land or do you focus on the sower?

In many discussions of this parable, people talk about what we need to do to be the good soil or the seeds that fall on the good soil. We do not want to be like the seeds that fall on the rocky ground, hearing God’s word with joy, but then falling away when times are difficult. We do not want to be the seeds that fall among thorns, and we certainly do not want to be the thorns that choke the seedlings.

Yet, what if we look at the parable from the view of the sower? Perhaps we should focus on sowing the seeds of God’s love, without regard to where they might land and without worrying about the results. Because, really, that’s what we are called to do: to share God’s love (not choose who gets to receive it). We are called to share the love of God in the world, to share the good news of God in Jesus Christ, with as many people as we can, wherever we find ourselves. We are not called to be miserly with God’s love, sowing only in the good soil where we can be certain they will flourish. We are called to be like the sower in the parable, throwing out the seeds, the seeds of His Good News, to everyone, everywhere. So, when we are out in the world, we should not worry how others may receive our faith and our love of God. We should live our lives and speak our words so that the seeds of God’s love are scattered through all we do and all we say and trust the results to God.

A Prayer for Guidance
Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings with your most gracious favor, and further us with your continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in you, we may glorify your holy Name, and finally by your mercy obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(BCP, p. 832)
The Rev. Lisa R. Neilson
Associate for Pastoral Care and Women's Ministries
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