Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sowing Seeds of Truth Today (Matthew 13: 1-9, 18-23)

A quick retelling with different words
Jesus once told a crowd a story about a man who sowed seeds (Matthew 13:1-9). Later, he explained the meaning of the story to his disciples (13:18-23).

The seeds are words of truth witnessing to the presence of the Kingdom of God in our midst.

Some people hear these words clearly but do not understand them at all. Satan easily removes these words from their awareness. These people never give them another thought.
Some people hear these same words and have a powerful religious experience of great joy. But the words, having served their purpose, are quickly abandoned when a continued affirmation of them might lead to experiences of a more unpleasant sort.
Still others hear these words of truth and nurture them in their Christian heart. While we each have a wholly Christian personality, we also each have a wholly Olympian one. Our Olympian personality adores the Olympian gods who torment us with worldly cares and entice us with worldly wealth. Through just these threats and promises, the Olympian gods use our Olympian personality to choke our poor though noble Christian personality.
Even so, words of truth do strengthen the Christian personality of some. Then these, in turn, share words of truth with others who are strengthened as well.

A brief reflection on implications for today
While we may speak words of truth to many people, we should know beforehand that responses will vary: indifference, initial enthusiasm only, hostility, gradual abandonment, but also abiding affirmation.

We might well note that the varying responses made by others are not our responsibility. Our responsibility is simply to share words of truth. Faithfulness is a much more important virtue than effectiveness.
But one scary question remains: when we speak with non-Christians, Christians not participating in a church, or guests who have joined us for worship on a Sunday, do we actually share any words of truth with them?
Recently I joined a church as a guest for Sunday worship. The pastor preached for 20 minutes. The name of Jesus was never mentioned.
When we speak with others, do we spontaneously share with them what Jesus has been doing in our lives? The broader societal and cultural issues he is currently concerned with? Or do we also limit our conversation to the agenda set by corporate media and our ideas to the same narrow range of acceptable opinion that others do?
Is it possible that our churches, themselves, are simply one more part of that very broad yet seedless path that leads to destruction?
If so, then, through the words of this parable, may Jesus grant us the grace we need to become good soil again—for our good and his glory.

Copyright © 2017 by Steven Farsaci.
All rights reserved. Fair use encouraged.