Spring Planting – The Farmer
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 ESV
During the winter I used to scan through seed catalogues and plan for spring planting. Then on a blank sheet of paper I would draw the garden and decide where to put the cucumbers and squash and tomato plants. Jesus tells a story of a farmer who like me had decided what seed to plant, where to plant it and the exact day to put them in the soil. He left his house with a bag of the precious seed to begin his day’s work. As he started up the hard path some seed spilled out and as it bounced on the hard ground the birds began to follow him and gobble them up. Once he arrived, he tried to evenly spread the seeds in the furrows but even though the plowed field looked beautiful and clean, underneath the surface there were hidden rocks in some places and thorn and thistle seeds in others.
The same story happens every Sunday in our churches. We all hear the same sermon, but the message has different results depending on how we listen. But our problem is not with the farmer or the seed! The difference at harvest time comes from how our field has been prepared. Before we hear even one more sermon maybe our prayer should be, “Oh Lord prepare my heart!”