Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Good Earth

Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Mark 4:1-9

One of the things I love to do is to have a little garden. Standing in the rich earth and watching the plants grow gives me great joy. Having rich earth is work though. Some places we lived was rocky and other very sandy. The earth needs to be tended and fed, turned and nurtured, water and encouraged. One can not just stick a plant in the garden and stand back. It is a day by day caring, a season by season relationship.

Jesus is using a parable to help folks understand their life in faith. Many have come out to hear him, many want constant miracles and ready solutions to their problems. Jesus, sitting in a boat, since the crowd had pushed them off the beach, reminds them that they have a part in the life of faith. We cannot be babies waiting to be fed and crying when we are hungry. We need to tend to our earth, to be rich and ready recipients of God's love in our lives. God's love is for all but we must be active participants so that it can flourish on earth.

Today I ask God to help me tend to the garden, to nurture the soil and deepen my faith. Help me to do the hard work of weeding and watering, of feeding and watching, always patient knowing God is the true gardener. May we all tend to our faith, making time for prayer and worship so that the love of God might flourish upon this "fragile earth, our island home."

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