I’m no gardener and my knowledge of anything to do with the garden is limited to say the least, but what I do know is, the ground in which one plants, is very important.
One of the stories that Jesus told his listeners was about seeds and ground. If you want to read it in the Bible, you will find it in Matthew (New Testament) chapter 13 verses 1-9. Picture this, Jesus came out of his house and sat beside the sea, beautiful. He didn’t need a pulpit, a whiteboard, a powerpoint, a mic – he simply sat beside the sea to talk to the people.
The story goes, a sower went out to sow seed, some of the seed fell along the path and the birds came and devoured the seed; some fell on rocky ground where it didn’t have much soil, so the seed sprang up very quickly, but because there wasn’t much soil, when the sun rose, it withered the plants because they had no root; other seed fell amongst thorns but the thorns grew and strangled the plants; finally, some seed fell on good soil and produced grain, a 100, 60 and 30 fold.
What was Jesus on about? Thankfully, he gives the explanation a little further on in the chapter – verses 18-23.
The seed is the Word of the Kingdom, i.e. what God is saying to people. The path represents people who don’t understand that word and the birds represent the evil one who steals the word from the hearts of said path! Rocky ground is people who receive the Kingdom words straight away with joy, yet they have no root so when life gets tough, they walk away from the very words that gave them life. The thorns are those who get overwhelmed by the cares of the world and their life is un-fruitful and the good soil are those who hear the word, understand it and bear fruit.
The question for all of us this week then is, how’s your ground? How would you describe yourself today? Pathy, rocky, thorny or goody?Are you confused? Do you have no roots? Are you overwhelmed by the cares of the world? Or is your ground, watered and ready to receive Kingdom words?
If you need a shift of ground and that could be something like listening to different voices or forgiving someone that’s hurt you or letting go of bitterness and anxiety or getting back into community with your church family. A whole host of things could be stopping you from leading a fruitful life, but I’m confident that if we’re prepared to get the gardening gloves on, get the rake and the hoe and go to work on our ground, things will turn around.
In a world where lies are being exposed almost hourly, let’s celebrate, that as followers of Christ, we have access to the one and ONLY truth and it behoves us to make our garden good and ready to receive the Words of the Kingdom and to make sure that those words go deep down and form roots that cannot be shaken.