3-8 “Listen. What do you make of this? A farmer planted seed. As he scattered the seed, some of it fell on the road and birds ate it. Some fell in the gravel; it sprouted quickly but didn’t put down roots, so when the sun came up it withered just as quickly. Some fell in the weeds; as it came up, it was strangled among the weeds and nothing came of it. Some fell on good earth and came up with a flourish, producing a harvest exceeding his wildest dreams.
9 “Are you listening to this? Really listening?” Mark 4:3-9
This parable is favorite in religious education especially of children. It lends itself to easy explanation and even illustration. In its original telling as in the quotation above it is about the ultimate productivity of the Divine One's offer of life and love. Through all the difficulties, it will always find a way to life and abundance. When Jesus explains it to his followers in a later passage, it is an allegory about the response that we can make to the Divine One's offer. Clearly it is a challenge to us especially the notion of the seed that falls into the thorns and weeds and is overtaken and choked out of life. In this case, the thorns and weeds are the cares and concerns of this world, the materialism that threatens the life of the spirit in us.
There is a third lesson here as well. Though the Divine One is the sower, we are the Body of Christ. We, in fact, sow the seeds of faith through our lives of discipleship. "Those who hear the word are to become doers of the word." There is no guarantee that our lives of discipleship will be productive in terms of other people coming to a realization of the offer of the Divine One and acceptance of it. That is not our concern. We are called to faithfully continue to sow the seed of faith by following the law of the new covenant, the law of love written now in our hearts rather than on tablets of stone. The acceptance or rejection of that offer is between the Divine One and others. Our job is to continue to faithfully sow...knowing that ultimately, somehow, it will be productive.
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Location:Charissa Run,Rochester,United States