Published on July 15, 2014
Page 2 are to flourish. We need to read our bibles and pray everyday otherwise we will end up like the seed that has fallen on the rocky ground or amongst the thistles. That’s all good stuff but hearer’s in Jesus day would have heard this differently. As they heard Jesus telling the story they would have thought that the farmer was absolutely bonkers and at worse wasteful. It’s not at all surprising that most of the seed didn’t grow. What’s surprising is that the farmer chose to sow it t here. This isn’t a rich man we’re talking about here: this is a poor farmer, a tenant farmer who can only eke out a living for himself and his family. Good seed is hard to come by, in times of famine some families have been forced to eat the seed rather than starve; (Mike you will know more about this than I do having been in Africa). If seed is so precious then you want to make sure it gets into the best soil and you don’t waste any. In short, this farmer behaves as though that which were most precious was available in unlimited supply. He could just throw it anywhere. What on earth is he thinking? Lots of it everywhere. Lot s of God’s love thrown everywhere. Indiscriminatingly, not carefully placed. Overflowing In abundance. What would it take us to be a church like that? A church that threw out the abundance of G od’s love everywhere. A church that didn’t hoard out of fear saying we have got to keep this to ourselves or only give to those who deserve God’s love or will do something with it. Or worse only gi ve it to those who come on Sunday Listen to the best bit of Jesus parable: God does not say to the farmer, you idiot, or don’t be wasteful. God blesses a farmer like this beyond anyone’s wildest dreams. In Jesus’ time. Normally, the farmer who reaps a twofold harvest would be considered fortunate. A fivefold harvest would be a cause for celebration throughout the village, there would be much thanking God for his blessing. But this foolish farmer who, in a world of scarcity, casts his seed on soil everyone knows is worthless is blessed by God in shocking abundance: a harvest of thirty, sixty, and a hundred times what he sowed. We think we live in a world of scarcity. Sometimes it is easy for us to get worried in church about money being tight, or our lack of resources and people to do things. Even when we’re looking at other qualities like, love and blessing, there’s sometimes a sense that the good things God has for us are in such limited supply that the only kind of good and sensible thing to guard it very carefully and keep it to ourselves and only give it to those we’re sure are worthy. That’s not the Good News God has for us: The kingdom of God has come among us. The kingdom of love, justice and blessing. God has blessed us richly, and God’s people have be en entrusted with that which is most precious in the world. But ironically, these priceless commodities only gain value God’s people scatter it absolutely heedless of who is worthy to receive it. Listen! We are called to treat God’s love, God’s justice, and God’s blessing, precious as these are, as if they were absolutely limitless in supply for one simple reason: They are. They really are. So back to the high visibility jackets. We become high visibility Christians, people see that we are followers when we are abundant with God’s love and justice. Please God that they see it here.