Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering his seed, some fell along the path and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop – a hundred, sixty, or thirty times what was sown. Matthew 13:3-8
Do you remember church bulletins, hymn books or microphones mounted solidly to large wooden pulpits? Technology has certainly changed everything about our worship services in the 21st century. While many of the changes have been great the issues of the human heart haven’t really changed at all since Jesus talked about the farmer’s day of planting 2000 years ago.
Some of us come so busy glancing our smart watches and text messaging our friends that the word just bounces off us just like the seed that fell on the path. We come to church and return home with no idea of what was said. Other Sundays we think the message was great and head home enthusiastically entering into our calendar the five AM prayer time and the second Saturday of the month leadership training course. But as we drive the office calls and asks if we could come in extra early on Monday and we get a text from our son’s school asking if we could volunteer to coach the soccer team this spring. Other times we do continue the outward motions of the commitments we have made but remain in ungodly relationships and activities that clash strongly with everything we believe. We decide that it is too hard to break away from those things that displease the Lord and put on the back burner the plans for a closer walk with Jesus Christ.
We excuse ourselves by inwardly accusing our pastor. We rationalize that the messages have been weak and that the worship team is pretty disorganized. Church seems dull and people don’t reach out to us when we think they should. Yet the farmer is the same and the seed is the same. Our challenge is to prepare our hearts for his word but to guard what is planted so it will yield a harvest one day.