Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Holding Fast

Soon afterwards Jesus went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod's steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.
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!"
Then his disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, "To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but to others I speak in parables, so that 'looking they may not perceive,
and listening they may not understand.'
"Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones on the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe only for a while and in a time of testing fall away. As for what fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance."
 Luke 8:1-15 

We are holding fast but it's not easy.  My husband spiked a fever a few days after what should have been a routine biopsy. Now we wait by his bedside while the doctors try to find out what antibiotic will knock out the bug. We hold each other up, and we pray constantly, but sometimes our patience can wear out. It can be hard when over whelmed with "the cares of the world" to hold on, but we have found leaning against one another helps us get through.
Jesus was using picture stories to help folks understand the vitality of the word of God. It can change our lives and renew us, as we are willing to make room for it, be shaped and changed by it. The love of God, born in the word, seems sometimes fragile, but is not. It is disease resistant, despair resistant and all of our challenges cannot do away with it. As we lean in for strength, we are given an extra measure of  love, we are planted deeper and we grow strong and able to weather every challenge.
Today I ask God for an honest and good heart with which to hold the word. May we grow stronger day by day in the love God has given us and bear the fruits of love and healing.

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