Called to be…good dirt or an active gardener?

I haven’t felt all too inspired lately.  Things have been so hectic this past week, I haven’t exactly had time to allow inspiration in.

However, a new mid-week Bible study began on Thursday, led by our Pastor, and it’s on the parables in the Gospel of Luke.  The first one we discussed was The Parable of the Sower.  Inspiration happened!

We began with discussing what it takes to have a successful garden.  Being precise with directions on how to plant the seeds and care for them once they sprout, making sure the soil is fertilized, and weeding were among the answers given.

We all agreed, in this parable none of those “rules” of gardening seemed to be followed.

When one reads this parable, one tends to assign roles to the different “characters” in the parable.  God or Jesus is the happy sower.  The path, rocks, and thorns are those who willingly reject the influence of God – you know, “those” people who will never come around, so why bother.  And then there’s us – the “good Christians” who are the nutrient-rich soil guaranteed to produce the fruit.

Mmm, not really.  And it makes sense.  Let’s continue.

First we were asked, what is the seed and who is sowing it so generously?  Is it God?  Sure, he’s the happy sower, but what exactly is the “seed?”  Is it us?  According to Luke 8:11b, the seed is God’s message.  Well, what is that?  To us it’s the Bible, but Luke was written long before the Bible was compiled.  Is it Jesus, the One sent to us by God Himself?

We were directed to John 1:1, as some interpretations of Luke 8:11b don’t say “God’s message,” but “the word of God.”

“In the beginning was the Word.  The Word was with God and the Word was God.”  So God is spreading God around?  What?

Yep.  God spread himself and his grace over every inch of this world.  Generously.  Indiscriminately.  In places doomed to fail and in places guaranteed to flourish.  But why?  Why would any gardener waste seed on a path where birds would eat the seed?  Why on the rocky ground where roots cannot grab a hold?  Why among the thorns where they’re consumed?

God is everywhere.  In third world nations.  In prisons.  In the places most people wouldn’t dare visit for fear of their own safety or health.  How can God’s seed possibly survive in these places?

We aren’t the good dirt with the bumper crop.  We are the caretaker!  The gardener!  It is up to us, the ones who know God, trust in God, and follow God’s message.  We are the ones who need to go to those places – sweep the seed from the path to the good soil; cut away the thorns and weeds; pick out the rocks.

It is not up to us to bring God to these places, for God has been there since the beginning.  It is up to us to follow through with God’s message of grace, mercy, and love – to all people.

Image Credit: LeightonAutrey.com