Soft soil

March 30, 2020

Scripture Readings

My mother was a Mennonite, born and raised on a Manitoba farm. From childhood, she experienced the principles of farming, working in the fields and harvesting the crop. Early in my life, she, in turn, taught me how to soften the ground for seeding, and move all the weeds. Then the planting process, working with your hands in the dirt, making a hole, dropping in the seed, covering it gently. And the time of tending and waiting while the seed germinated, sprouted and grew until harvest time.

Now we live in an urban setting, but we understand Jesus’ parable about the Sower. You may have personal memories like me of sowing and reaping. And even if you don’t have a green thumb, or are only an amateur urban gardener, you will understand Jesus’ metaphor – in the right soil conditions, the seed will yield a bountiful crop.

Jesus gave us the meaning of his teaching in the parable since we “have been given to know” the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven. He taught how the Word of God, sown by the Spirit of God, grows in our hearts and yields fruit for the Kingdom. Many hear the Word and respond positively to it, and will be gathered to him in the final harvest. I pray that you will be counted among those who have made that commitment.

But the message of the parable of the sower isn’t over when you accept the truth of the Word and God’s lordship in your life. On a deeper level, the parable also exhorts us to:

hold the Word in our hearts, continue growing to full maturity as a believer, listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, and grow our character with patience to be fully Christ-like.

Even as a mature person of faith, I still have areas that need growth in him. May we all have tender hearts for his Spirit’s word to us.  

Will you join me in my prayer?

  Plunge your hand in the soft, moist soil of my soul.

     Feel the fertile richness you created there.

     You know me fully and completely.

  Plant deeply the seeds of your truth in my mind.

     Cultivate your thoughts and ways in my heart.

     Water the seedlings with your Spirit’s wisdom.

  May they germinate and grow to full fruition,

     Providing a rich, hundred-fold harvest of goodness,

     A crop worthy of your love and grace.

Ken Chapman

Former Foothills elder, current husband and passionate grandfather