–By Elizabeth Ahlman
And when a great crowd was gathering and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable, “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled underfoot, and the birds of the air devoured it. And some fell on the rock, and as it grew up, it withered away, because it had no moisture. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up with it and choked it. And some fell into good soil and grew and yielded a hundredfold.” As he said these things, he called out, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear” (Luke 8:4-8, ESV).
The parable of the sower is a popular one. It is used a lot and read a lot. Just do an internet search. There’s a lot of stuff out there on this parable (not all of it good). Perhaps we’ve grown a little bored with it. It is our tendency, after all, to grow bored or annoyed, or even disdainful. Sin at work in us, in our sinful natures, turns the Word of God into a “so what” or a “that’s silly” or a “I don’t believe that anyway.” After all, that is what happens to many of the ones to whom the seed is scattered in this parable. Some of them have it snatched away by the devil. Some people receive it at first with joy and enthusiasm, but get bored and fall away. Some of them have it choked by the cares, riches, and pleasures of the world (see Jesus’ explanation in Luke 8:9-15). So really, what’s the point of it being sowed in the first place? It seems like the vast majority of it is wasted.
But…but…there is that one group, the group in whom the seed takes root. They grow and flourish in the good soil. The seed, which is the Word of God, takes root in them and springs up. It is “held fast” and “bears fruit.” Still, compared to the rest of the seed that was “wasted,” this group seems like a pretty small portion. All that work of the Sower, and only this one group holds fast to God’s Word and grows in it? This parable is silly. It seems like such a waste of time. And in a way, it is. If it is we who spread the seed and look at it with human eyes, then it is a waste.
God, however, does not see with the eyes of man. God’s ways and His thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9). God isn’t counting the yield the way we are counting the yield. In God’s eyes every seed that falls, no matter where, is a seed well spent. You see, God Himself is the Sower, and He sows with reckless abandon. He scatters His seed, His Holy Word, from nation to nation, from sea shore to sea shore, from mountain top to valley, through deserts and lush green forests, in desolate places and in fertile soil. He sows, and He sows, and He sows. He sends out His Word through his Church to scatter the seed throughout the whole earth. He sows his seed through pastors and missionaries, through Short Term Mission Teams and GEOs, through the acts of mercy which He does through His faithful people, through English Bible Camps, sacred music concerts, teachers and schools, and much, much more. All rooted, of course, in His Divine Service to us, wherein He scatters the seed abundantly on His people in their Baptisms, roots it deep within them through the preaching of the Word, nourishes it on His own Son’s Body and Blood, and sends it out with them into their daily lives. Praise be to God for His reckless abandon in sowing His Word for us and for the life of the world!
Let us pray:
Heavenly Father, Almighty God, You are the Divine Sower, scattering Your Seed abroad in the world; grant that it might take root and spring up in us and in Your people throughout the world, so that more people might be brought to faith in you through the waters of Holy Baptism, through Jesus Christ, your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God now and forever. Amen.
Lord Jesus Christ, stir up our hearts in service to you. We ask especially that You would raise up churches and individuals to serve as Short Term Mission Teams in Poland in the Summer of 2014. Grant that many teams would desire to serve You in this unique field so that more children and others may be encouraged in their faith and reached by the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We pray this in Your Holy Name, for You live and reign with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
- Read about how God is recklessly spreading his seed abroad in Poland.
- Learn more about serving as a short term team, a GEO missionary, or a career missionary.
- Want more devotions from the Eurasia blog? Click here to read last week’s.
- Check back to the Eurasia Blog next Wednesday for another new devotion.
- Stay tuned for more on how God is scattering his seed through the work of our GEO missionaries with the upcoming post “Go Back to School with Team Eurasia.”