A Surprising Harvest
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.
God is not like earthly farmers, nor is He like earthly landowners or merchants or kings. Parables, simple words and simple stories, conceal God from men too proud to believe that He is not like them. Parables are easy to misunderstand. The point of the parable of the Sower is that God does not farm the way we do. Being a farmer who works with seed and soil and fertilizer gives very little insight into God and His ways. Farmers work the soil and make it productive. They work the soil for profit, applying all their wisdom to it. But God does not seek profit. He does not gain from sowing. He sows seed in foolish places. He does not work the soil. The seed itself is good, and men are in need. The seed does its work, but all at God’s expense.
His ways baffle us. He sows His seed in foolish, weak, and impossible places, without thought to gain or loss. He sows on the trodden path, the rocky patch, the thorny ground—into the deaf ear, the blind eye, and the hard heart of those who hate Him, who seized the Son and killed Him. He sends His message out in ways and to markets that make advertising executives cringe. He sows where His seed absolutely should not grow. He wastes His love on fickle men with hearts full of lust and greed.
And most is lost. Most is trampled, snatched, withered, and choked. Most is wasted, spent in vain, tossed away for nothing, indistinguishable from chaff in the wind. This Sower does not show a profit. He gives and men waste. He never counts the cost. He does not sow for gain or profit. He does not sow for fame, honor, or prestige. He sows for men. He sows because they are in need. He sows because He would love them again. He sows because He is love. He is lavish in His gifts of grace.
And somehow, miracle of miracles, the seed finds earth. Miserable, scorched, dry, rocky ground though it be—even on the darkest pavement of our hearts—the seed finds the earth, and it grows! That good seed transforms some of those trodden, rocky, thorny patches into soil rich enough to bear a crop a hundredfold! It takes root in ears that could not hear. It grows to life in blind and unlikely corners where men had given up and moved on. It bears a crop that demographics studies and the best laid plans of men could not predict or expect, while well-farmed lands in fertile plains are ripe with weeds. The Word of God bestows wisdom in the midst of foolishness. It harvests life from death. It bears a crop where and when the Spirit pleases, and that pleases our Father.
The Good News of Our Lord’s death and resurrection is the seed; it is the power of God for salvation. And though it seems a foolish waste to human wisdom, it changes lives. It heals disease. It puts an end to war. It brings husbands and wives back together. It turns the hearts of the fathers to their children. The Word always works the way God wants it to work, because it is the creative force of God Himself, and He is not like us.
It is for you that the true Vine, our Lord Jesus Christ, suffered the weeds that choke, the birds that snatch, the rocks that wither roots, the feet that trample the seed of His Word. He died for you and rose again. He was cut down, but He came up like a shoot from the stump. By His Word He declares you innocent. He opens heaven. There is nothing for you to add or prove or do. He has done it all for you. Foolish and ridiculous though it seems, impossible and wonderful, He has died for you. He does not hold it against you. He has sowed His Seed within you so that you would live and be loved by Him. He has sowed His seed so that you would know your Father. He will make you bloom in the resurrection. Eden and all of creation will be restored. In the name of the Father and of the Son (+) and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The peace of God which passes all understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus always. Amen.