Summary: A sermon for the 8th Sunday after Pentecost Proper 10 Parable of the Sower
8th Sunday after Pentecost
Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
13:1 ¶ That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea.
2 And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat there; and the whole crowd stood on the beach.
3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: "A sower went out to sow.
4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.
5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they had not much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil,
6 but when the sun rose they were scorched; and since they had no root they withered away.
7 Other seeds fell upon thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.
8 Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
9 He who has ears, let him hear."
18 "Hear then the parable of the sower.
19 When any one hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in his heart; this is what was sown along the path.
20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy;
21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.
22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.
23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit, and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty."RSV
Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Savior, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen
Our gospel lesson this morning is the familiar story of the sower and the seed.
Jesus tells us this parable to speak about the Word of God among us. This parable is about sowing and seed growing. It is about the right kind of ground, the right soil or the right heart.
The first thing I would like you to notice about the sowing, is that the sower, God is a broadcast sower. He does not drill the seeds into the ground, he does not make holes and then drops the seed in, he scatters the seed along the ground as he goes.
As the sower sows, he expects a harvest regardless of where the seeds have landed. He expects a harvest, Why else would he sow.
Here in Iowa, the farmers go to the fields each spring and sow seeds. They do it mechanically with tractors, and seed planters, but they go to the fields expecting to plant and then after the long growing season, they expect to be back in the fields in the fall with the combines to harvest the fruits of their labors. They expect to harvest corn and soybeans. They go to the fields each spring with a new excitement, a renewed energy as they plant their seeds and wait for the harvest.
And that reminds me of a story from my youth. It is a story about my Grandfather, Grandpa Spachtholz, and my brother. Grandpa loved to garden. He grew up in Germany and worked in a greenhouse, but when he came to America, the job he got was working for the telephone company because he knew tools.
But Grandpa loved to garden and around his house he had glorious flower and vegetable gardens.
Well, on day, my brother was eating a watermelon and after he finished he decided to go out and plant those seeds to see if they would grow. But you have to understand it was already the middle of July.
He planted the seeds, he watered them and everyday he would look to see if anything was growing. Finally, a few sprouts came through the ground and he was really excited. he could almost taste the watermelon he was hoping to eat.
The plants continued to grow and grow. But fall came fast. No melons.
One day upon arriving home from school, Jim, ran to his melon patch to see if there were any melons. And low and behold, there was one medium size melon. Jim ran into the house screaming for us to come. Mom, Grandpa and I had been watching all the time. Grandpa had come and tied one of his melons to the vine in such a way that you had to look very carefully to see that it was not attached. Jim went with Grandpa to pick that melon, he was somewhat disappointed that his patch did not produce it, but he vowed next year he would plant early and have his own melon.