Monday, 15 June 2015

Sowing the seed

The parable of the seed growing spontaneously is first of all a call to patience.
But it is patience with a promise and therefore hope.  Jesus bids us to calm down, don’t force the issue. If the seeds are sown then as another parable tells us, whilst some will fall on stony ground or be choked some will fall on good ground, so have patience and let it grow.
That assumes of course that any good seed is being sown in the first place. I mean we could ask ourselves in the silence of our hearts right now; How many people over the last year have I spoken to about my faith in Christ?
Or, my whole life how many? Would there be too many to think about or too few to mention – perhaps no-one? If it is no-one, it is never too late to start.
If no-one was sowing any seed at all, there is no chance whatsoever of any new shoots growing anywhere and the church would stagnate and die.
But we can be prone to look around us and say things like, “no-one is going to listen to little old me”, and “well I don’t think I’m a very good advert for the faith anyway” and “I won’t know what to say if I get cornered or they ask me lots of other questions I can’t answer.....”
Well let’s transport ourselves back into the Palestine of Jesus’ day. To any observer the visual evidence for some great new era dawning was scant. It all depended on the poor, tiny, unremarkable band of Jesus’ followers – not many great good or wise there! None were schooled in Philosophy or had access to great libraries or as steeped in the Bible as the Pharisees. But they were armed with something much greater – their experience of Jesus, his life, his death, his resurrection and the experience of the Holy Spirit. They were confident in what they had seen and experienced and it is this that they shared.
Jesus’ parable of the mustard seed is apt. When sown it is tiny but can grow under the right conditions into a mighty plant.
If you imagine your own words and actions as your own personal mustard seed, small and insignificant in your own estimation perhaps, they still have to be sown if we want to see any chance of any growth. And the seeds you sow are your own lived experience of your faith.
A good exercise would be to make a list of all the positive things that having faith and being a member of this church gives to you. Whatever that thing or things are that make a positive difference to your life, this is your seed that you can sow. They are the things that have helped you to cope or grow, or live, or come to terms with something or someone, given comfort, purpose, meaning or led you to forgive; these are the positive things that you can tell other people about at an opportune time.

As Jesus said before, don’t expect results quickly, don’t force things – have patience. Some won’t grow, but some will. And watching it grow is marvellous.

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