Wednesday Words – Soil and Seed

June 17, 2020

Pastor Paul Cannon

But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.

-Matthew 13:23

We planted a little garden this spring: tomatoes, bush beans, snap peas, and kale. There’s some basil, rosemary and mint growing in the garden boxes hanging from the fence and various pots scattered around the backyard.

This year, the garden is looking good. Some years … not so much. Learning to grow things is a practice of trial and error. What works well? What doesn’t? We planted carrots one year, only to find that when we harvested them, the soil wasn’t deep enough – they came up short and stubby. Peppers are slow growing and stubborn. Without lots of sun and water, you’d be lucky to get one or two of them before winter!

But what we’ve found, is that when you have good soil that’s well tended and taken care of, you can grow almost anything.

In the gospel this week, Jesus is telling the parable of the sower and the seed. If the seed falls on the path, it gets eaten up. If it falls on rocky ground, the roots can’t grow deep enough. If it falls among the thorns and weeds, it gets choked out and can’t grow.

Jesus doesn’t come out and say this, but in the scheme of this parable, I think it’s the job of the church to till the garden and prepare the soil. We are here to get the soil ready for people to be able to hear it, so that God’s word can grow and flourish in the hearts of people when they come.

It’s a hard job. Pulling weeds isn’t fun for most of us. Sitting under the hot summer sun, getting dirty and pulling up rocks is a difficult job. But if you don’t put in the hard work, you shouldn’t expect much of a harvest.

What that means for the church, is that sometimes we have to be truth tellers. If we don’t pull up the weeds of sin - greed, hatred, racism or whatever sin we could acknowledge - we shouldn’t expect God’s word to grow, nor should we expect it to bear much fruit.

Bethany Lutheran, thank you for being the church and continuing your work of weeding God’s garden!