A farmer has to pay close attention to the quality of the soil that will receive the seeds when they are sown in the field. To determine that quality, the farmer will have the soil analyzed by a lab. Soil analysis is important because it tells the farmer what the soil needs to make it productive.
So what does all this have to do with this week’s sermon? Everything!
This Sunday as we continue our series, “Parables of the Realm of God,” we’ll look at another of Jesus’ parables, sometimes called “The Parable of the Sower and the Seeds.” I think a better title would be “The Parable of the Soils” because it encourages us to focus on how the different types of soil produce different results in terms of how things grow:
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!”
This is a parable about our level of receptivity to the realm of God and the good news of God’s grace. And, more than that, it is a parable about how these “seeds” can take root and grow in our lives in a fruitful way. What this story calls for is one of the most important tasks of your spiritual life: ongoing soil analysis.
What kind of soil have I prepared? What am I lacking? What changes do I need to make in order to be more receptive to God’s call and grace in my own life?
I look forward to analyzing soil with you on Sunday as we worship together in the Sanctuary worship service. As part of our worship service, we will celebrate the sacrament of Holy Communion.
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster