Sowing: A Lenten Reflection


 

English: An etching by Jan Luyken illustrating...

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The Parable of the Sower

1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

10 The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”

11 He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. 12 Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables:

“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

14 In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:

“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
15 For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’[
a]

16 But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. 17 For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.

18 “Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: 19 When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. 20 The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. 21 But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. 22 The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. 23 But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.”

Matthew 13:1-23 (NIV)

A good spring reading, planting the garden, caring for the garden. Jesus used parables to teach very deep and profound messages, he used everyday life situations to teach of eternity. Jesus connected to the common man with stories of the everyday. Yet people had a hard time understanding Him, His stories seemed to go over there heads. Why? What made the parables that hard to understand? It seems to us, a little over two thousand years later that what Jesus said is as plain as day. Your deeds are the seeds, your actions are sown into the soil of your soul and our confession is our weeding of our garden.

Jesus, it seems to us, spoke very clearly, but Jesus also stated:

“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand.

If that is not a human trait, I don’t know what is. How often we do not see what is before us, the sunset, the bloom of the rose the smile of a child. And how often we do not hear the sounds of the world, the soft wind that blows through the tress, the gentle babble of the brook or the sweet song of the song birds. We miss out on the glories of life, all to often because we are to caught up in life. Or so we think. Life is not to be tossed about, we are to carefully plant our seeds, nurture them and weed our gardens, not just scatter them about and hope for the best. Would you plant your vegetable garden in such a fashion? I think not, it would be a waste of your time, money and effort, so why toss about your soul is such a fashion? Why take such little care for what will bring you eternity?

All weekend I tended to my gardens, cleaning out the leftover fall leafs and pulling the weed, planting some new seed and doing the basic spring start-up. It was lots of work, not yet finished, and it was hard, but over all satisfying. But I am paying for it today, the pain in places I did not know could even hurt, the thought that I will have to do it all again, to the rest of the gardens and the simple fact that gardening, like life, is never done. There are always weeds to pull, plants to trim, grass to cut and so on. It seems that there is always a reason to care for our gardens. But how often do we neglect our gardens? I know that once summer hits, it is harder to force myself to go out and work in my garden, who wants to work hard on a beautiful summers day? What one of us would rather sit drinking an iced tea and reading a good book, or take a trip to the sandy beach. But I know that if I don’t tear out the weeds, they will over take my garden, and smother out the plants, turning all my hard work into a mess. And when that happens, the cleaning up is many times harder than the up keep. To spend a few hours each week weeding is easier than tearing out the garden and rebuilding from scratch. This past weekend I had to just that, tear everything out of one garden and start all over. I was given wild onions that I planted in a small round garden. The first year, they looked great, I have 6 plants, the second year I had maybe 15 plants, the third year, I have 50 or more. So out it came, each one of them. And it was hard work, digging, and pulling, rebuilding the walls of the garden, turning the soil and replanting new plants. If I would have cared for the wild onions, pulled them up, ate them and thinned them out, the work would not have been so hard. But I allowed nature to takes its course, and the onions over powered the garden, making in look a mess, as if it had not a caretaker. The onions did as they were made to do, they reproduced, but I was to care for my garden, to pull some for food and pull some for the over all health of the garden. But I neglected it, I allowed the onions to crowd out each other, to infringe upon each other, not allowing each other the space to grow. And now I pay the price, I dug them all up, replanted a few in two other gardens and created a new one.

Is that not like our life, we plant seeds of sin, sure they seem simple and harmless enough when we plant them. A little white lie here, are little envy here and we think nothing of it. But that little lie grows and becomes a big lie, it blossoms and turns to seed, planting new lies, that all seem harmless. But before we know it, the lies have overtaken our life, and we are lying about needless things, lying about our lies. The garden of our soul is now overtaken by the one simple lie that started it all. The planting bad seeds is easy, you just toss them to the wind, but the planting of good seeds takes time and care. 

This Lent take the time to tend to your garden, tear out the weeds of your life, and plant new seeds of love, hope and charity.  Use lent as the springtime for the soul, plant new gardens of prayer and reverence, and tend to the care of your garden, making it a place of contemplation and praise.

God Bless & Happy Lent

 

Paul Sposite

Guided Insight Life Coach 

 


 

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