A few Sundays back, John McKellar was exploring that teaching from Jesus we’ve come to call “the parable of the sower.” It’s in Matthew 18:1-8, with a followup explanation (because it’s not a good parable if it doesn’t confuse most everyone hearing it) in v 18-23. In the parable, Jesus identifies four kinds of soil, one of which is hospitable to plants and three of which prevent thriving growth.
Dr. McKellar pointed out that it’s our tendency to try to sort everyone into one category or another, but the reality is that, at any given moment, we humans have hearts that can be described all four ways at the same time. At any given moment, we all have parts of our hearts that:
- we’ve hardened against God’s message of love for us and our kind
- we’ve filled with rocks that keep anything from taking root, so we give up as soon as the going gets tough.
- we’ve mixed thorny weeds in with the fruit, so the good stuff gets the life choked out of it, while the prickly thorns remain to hurt us and the people we love.
- we’ve tended well, so the remain soft and receptive to the things God would plant there to bring life and health for ourselves and our neighbors.
The Farmer is the Field
Living with a ha——-rd heart
webbed with cracks and caked with dirt,
the sort of home where hope can sprout
Living with a dry heart
Living like I’m hardly living.
grow thorns and fruitful vines.
but all the fruit of love and peace
is choked by greed on every side.
Living with a strangled heart
Feeling like I’m barely breathing.
brought my King:
Lord, help my unbelief.
Expand the fertile, open land
so it will nurture every seed.
Living with a whole heart.
It’s your Life I’m living.
and rocks and weeds