Summary: Sermon focusses on both the nature of sower and the soil.

Matthew 13: 1-23

"The Agriculturally Illiterate"

Paonia United Methodist Church

July 14, 2002

Rev. John M. Nadasi

I remember the day I got my first four wheel drive.

I was so excited because I now had this extra shifter SUV.

Why, with this extra shifter, I could go anywhere, anytime, over anything.

I would drive through downtown city traffic in Kansas City knowing

that at any time, if someone made me mad,

or my route was cut off,

all I had to do was pull my magic shifter and I could climb over anything!

Well, the day finally arrived.

I just couldn’t wait any longer.

I had been out rollerblading down a back country road,

and there was the most beautiful mud bog that I had ever seen.

I pulled my magic four wheel drive lever,

squared off with the embankment,

and slammed the accelerator down.

It was the most exhilarating… 3 seconds of my life as I buried my new

Rodeo up to axles and high centered it on a stump.

No problem I said…

I was ready

I had my trusty WalMart come along here…

Well, that lasted all of about two minutes before it fell apart trying to move a two ton vehicle,

buried in the mud, high centered on a stump up hill.

Suddenly, my 3 second adventure didn’t seem quite so fun.

I thought this thing was supposed to go anywhere!

What happened to my magic shifter?

Thankfully, a passer by stopped and pulled me out.

That day,

I made a mental note to myself…

No more four wheeling through mud bogs.

I had learned my lesson.

I was never going to get stuck again.

Several months later,

I borrowed the neighbors boat for an afternoon at the lake.

All went well. I launched the boat from the bank…

Went out in the boat…

Came back…

And went to load the boat.

That was the day I learned about Colorado Black mud.

If you are not intimately familiar with Colorado black mud,

It first appears like sand when you see it.

It looks like chocolate mousse when you sink in it.

and it holds your vehicle like concrete when you get stuck in it.

It took four men and two full size F-150’s to pull me out that time.

I learned two things that day.

Number one, that you can get stuck in any vehicle…

but to get REALLY stuck, you need a four wheel drive with a magic shifter.

Number two, I realized that the lake of fire in the pit of hell is

guarded by Colorado Black Mud.

Now, as entertaining as these insights may truly be,

There is a point.

And that point is this…

Well, to put it kindly, and in the most political correct

fashion that I can, I will say it like this…

I am deeply agriculturally challenged.

I know just about squat when it come to dirt, plants, mud, and anything else of the sort.

It means nothing to me.

When the parsonage committee decided to beautify my last home,

they planted rows of flowers in front of my house.

To be honest…

I still don’t know what went wrong.

They all died.

I watered them once…

And they still died.

So, as an agricultural illiterate,

I am going to hope that I am not alone this morning

and ask that you will help get me out if I get us buried up to the axles

in this morning’s story.

This morning’s Gospel text comes from… Matthew 13:1-23.

Again, I have decided to give you the full text this morning

as the lectionary abbreviates because of the contextual shifts,

but I promise, I will navigate and even work the wench if we get stuck.

The mud can’t hold us forever.

The Parable of the Sower and the Seeds,

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. Such large crowds

gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on

the shore.

Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to

sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds

came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It

sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the

plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root.

Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil,

where it produced a crop--a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. He who

has ears, let him hear."

The disciples came to him and asked, "Why do you speak to the people in parables?"

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