Faith Stories: The Parable of the Sower
When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold.” As he said this, he called out, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”
– Luke 8:4-8 (NRSV)
Pastor Jay recently preached using the verses above as a basis for his Sunday sermon. As I reflected on the scripture, some thoughts came to me. They may not have been the main point of Jay’s sermon, but God used these words to impact me, and I’d like to share that message in this faith story.
In his sermon, Pastor Jay made reference to the quality of the soil. That got me thinking about something I read about farm science that we have all probably heard. The acidity or alkalinity of the soil, the mineral composition, and other things are important to crop success. Fertilizer can help get the right balance in otherwise poor producing dirt. Crops alter the soil in different ways so rotating crops helps create soil for different types of crops the next year.
So what’s the point? I have had times when I was unable to address my need, and my friend Marilyn handled it. My situation needed her exact “Marilyn-ness,” and I am in debt to her. In other situations, I have had strong opinions or reactions to a situation, and someone else’s comments and perspective about the same thing caused me to alter my response. Still other situations have resulted in my understanding something better through reading and study. I have heard others’ expression of gratefulness while seeing gifts in individuals that I didn’t recognize as gifts until it was pointed out.
So, my new understanding of the parable of the seed is that it’s all about community. I don’t have what it takes, really, to find salvation on my own. I am grateful for my community that has shared themselves with me in ways that are uniquely them. This has helped me grow and understand in ways I could not have done without their gifts, talents, and opinions. I am grateful for the generosity of those around me who share themselves in an honest and accepting way through community.