Reading Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!”
“Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
There are many times in our life, where we hear things ‘as if for the first time’. Jesus speaks not only to new believers, but to those who have heard the truth of God, have even participated and flourished, for a while, in faith and practices, but have not imbedded it deep within their lives. The rocky soil of shallow joy and excitement, does not nourish us. Truth falls away from everyday life because the very basic values of faith are not adopted and understood in the soul. Just like seeds growing in good soil flourish, when we commit ourselves to Jesus, allow the Spirit to dwell richly in our being, and love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, we continue to grow and flourish, even when the stormy times, desert experiences, and shadowlands cross our path. Just as the psalmist sings, let God’s way of living life be a warming light to our path. Let us incline our hearts to follow our Guiding One, and the Way of Christ.
Prayer of Confession
You scatter good things before us, O God,
We know that you sow seeds into our everyday life,
but we too often let them fall away before us on our daily path.
Our inner soul knows what is right,
but we often chose to ignore that truth
and be distracted by busyness or worries or following an easier path.
Forgive our inner short sightedness,
when really, we so long to live by your Ways
We are sorry for the times we act unjustly, are unkind and hurt others.
We wish to act with justice and be bringers of peace.
We long to love with pure hearts, and let go of our mean and angry ways.
We search for truth and yet ignore your genuineness.
We want to understand, but ignore knowledge and fact,
and choose instead what is easier to accept
or what fits with our present understanding.
Hold us as we stumble on the rocky pathway we choose.
Guide us back to your pathway,
so that we flourish and grow as your people.
Word of Assurance
God’s light is shining. Let’s look up.
God’s hand is guiding. Let’s accept it.
God’s truth is revealed in the everyday pathway. Let’s look and listen.
For God is always near.