Dear MLEPC Members and Friends:
"Still other seed fell on good soil.
It came up and yielded a crop,
a hundred times more than was sown." - Luke 8:8
Greetings in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ!
Happy All Saints Day! As we pause to reflect on the Great Cloud of Witnesses who have gone before us, take a moment to think about people who have had a lasting impact on your life. People who have sown seeds in your life that have born much fruit. Your parents or grandparents? A beloved teacher or neighbor? Who gave you an extra little spark to keep going when the going got tough?
I love the story of a street evangelist who shared the gospel with every person he could. All that time of sowing seeds, and he only had one known convert. Who was that convert? Billy Graham. That is one seed that yielded a million times more than what was sown!
I think of the youth worker who saw me sitting alone at a picnic table at a youth group event. I had just moved to Oklahoma, a thousand miles away from family and friends, and I hardly knew anyone. I was miserable and depressed -- and a middle schooler which always makes everything worse. He came over and brought others and we just chatted for a while. And he turned to me and said, "You're a lot of fun!"
I still remember that moment. Somehow, he broke through the fog in my head and sparked a light that I had never even seen in myself. You never know how one kind word can change someone's life.
This week, we are studying Jesus' famous Parable of the Sower, where he describes a farmer scattering seeds. Some fall on the path, some in rocky soil, some among weeds, and some in good soil. This is one of the few parables that Jesus unpacks for us, as he describes what type of person each seed represents. Some are too hardened to let in the Word of God. Some hear it, but it never takes root. Some hear it, but it gets choked out by "life's worries, riches, and pleasures." And some hear it, take it in, and produce an abundance of good fruit.
Where do you fit in this story? What happens when you hear the Word of God? I aspire to be a type 4, but I hate to admit how often worries and cares start to choke out fruitfulness in my life.
Another interesting question to ponder: who are we called to be as Christians? Are we to be the farmer or the soil? Or both? Can we help others by clearing rocks or pulling weeds? Do we need to till up the well-worn paths so they too can bear fruit? Or do we just scatter the seed anywhere we can and trust God to guide at least some to good soil?
We hope to be both farmer and good soil, but first we must entrust ourselves to the Lord. We need to ask him where the hardened parts of our hearts are. We need to ask him to dig out the rocks that cause our faith to wither. We need to trust him when he pulls up plants that we think are beautiful but are actually choking out the true crop. And we need to offer him thanks and praise whenever good crops grow, because it is by His grace alone, by His living water, by His light and warmth and power that we are able to grow at all.
Soli Deo Gloria - to God alone be the Glory!