The Sower, the Seed, the Soil (1997)

Sermon notes from 19 October 1997  on Luke 8:5-15

Creatio of Adam & Eve

GEN 2:7     “then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being.”  (NRSV )

“then the Lord God fashioned the human, humus from the soil, and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and the human being became a living creature.”  (R. Alter, Tr.)

Hebrew  –   ‘adam’ from the adamah   – the human from the soil

The intimate relationship between the seed and the earth,  it is this relationship which characterizes the different types of humans:

 The seeds on the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.

 The seeds on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe only for a while and in a time of testing fall away.

 As for the seed that fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.

 But as for the seeds in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance.

The Divine Seeds have been sown in every person on earth.    There is no human being created who does not have the Divine seed within them.    Each is created in the image and likeness of God.   Each has the potential of having the Divine Life bring forth fruit – bring forth more life in their own lives.   Each person is a garden in which the life-giving power of God is planted.

What defines the types of people on earth is the relationship each of us has with the Word of God, whether

 we attempt to keep the divine seed far from our hearts

 or,  we value the seed only in times of  prosperity, ease and success

 or, we want the divine seed to be just part of the mix of seeds in us, but really fear maybe  we’ll be missing out on something if we get rid of the weed seeds

 or we allow the divine seed to take root in us.

For now we get (please excuse the pun) to the root of the matter.    For Christ, the Son of God,  the one who enlightens every human who comes into the world, taught us that there does exist in the world a seed, a life giving light, that is different from all other seeds and lights which humans experience.   And that life and light is from God.   It is divine, and it is to be valued above everything else on earth.   The Lord God taught us to seek this divine seed out and never to be satisfied until we have it planted in our hearts, until our hearts become a well tended garden, in which we are the laboring gardeners tending to the plant which God is causing to grow in us.

 Isaiah 55:10-11:   “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

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The Sower and the Seed (2002)

Sermon notes from October 2002    The Sower (Luke 8:5-15).   How can we apply this Parable to our daily lives?

Today’s Epistle Lesson:     (2 Corinthians 6:1)  As we work together with him, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain.   [Working together with him, do not let the grace of God which you have received be for nothing].  

Today’s Gospel Lesson:      (Luke 8:11-15)  “Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God.”      

So how might we apply the Parable of the Sower (Luke 8:5-15) to our lives if we accept the notion that the “seed” is the Word of God?  Let’s take the example of the Gospel Lesson we heard two weeks ago:   (Luke 6:31, 35)   Do unto others as you would have them do to you.   …..    You must love your enemies and do good (…because the most High himself is kind to the ungrateful and to the wicked)

Now let’s think through the two Gospel lessons:

{Luke 8:12} “The ones on the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.”     

Example of Luke 8:12 –      Jesus could not possibly have meant for me to love my enemies.  They’ll just take advantage of me.   I’ll get no justice if I love my enemies.  They won’t get what they deserve if I love them.  They’ll never learn if I love them.  I understand what Jesus was saying, but it doesn’t apply in this case.

{8:13} “The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe only for a while and in a time of testing fall away.”     

 Example of 8:13  –    I tried to love my enemies but they didn’t understand what I was doing.  Certainly, I’ve tried to live by the words of Jesus, but I’m worse off now then I was before.  I apologized but he didn’t forgive he only gloated that he was right and I was wrong.   I really do try to love my enemies, but I can’t forgive her, anybody else I can forgive.
 The convicted child rapist who has asked me to pray for him: We pray for him by name at each liturgy and we pray – for mercy, life, peace, health, salvation, visitation, and for the pardon and remission of sins for ____   But do I really mean it?   Do I really want him to be forgiven by God and by us or do I really hope he rots in prison forever?

{8:14} As for what fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature.   

 What difference does it make whether I love them or not, I really don’t have anything to do with them anymore.  My life is so much better now, I really don’t care what happens to them.   Things are going good, so I’m certainly not going to revisit old wounds.   You know I have enough concerns with the stock market the way it is, I can’t be bothered with loving an enemy.  Everything in my life was going just fine until they came along, and now everything is a mess, so don’t ask me to love them.

{8:15} But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance.    

Example of 8:15 –   In as much as it is possible for me, I will live at peace with those around me.  I really can’t stand him, but I will pray for him and his family.  She got what she deserved, but I will help her anyway.  I hear you Jesus, you tell me to love as God has loved me, but I find it hard and I don’t really want to do it, but I will at least listen to you and think how to apply this teaching to my life, no matter how I feel about it.