Summary: In the story of the seed, Jesus gives each of us instructions for reproducing
The Story of a Seed
It was the end of August in 1979. I was a 19-year-old fisherman on the herring seiner Rali 2 out of Paspébiac, Quebec. Don’t ask why a crew from Saint John and Grand Manan were crewing a seiner from Quebec, it’s a long story.
We had spent the summer in the Bay of Fundy and that season was over, so we had returned to Quebec to fish in the Gaspe before heading to Newfoundland for the fall.
The herring had been running and we were excited about our prospects when we received word that the department of fisheries had cut the quota in that area for a week. That seemed to be the story of the summer, if we had market we had no fish, if we had fish we had no market if we had both the DFO stepped in and we had no quota.
We were told the restrictions would be lifted in a week or so and we decided to go home for that week.
On Sunday, September 2nd, my best friend invited me to attend church with him, actually pestered me, nagged me cajoled me would be more accurate, but whatever.
And so that Sunday evening I found myself at First Wesleyan Church in Saint John New Brunswick. The second time I had been in a church service in 7 years.
The pastor, Jack McKenzie, was on vacation and a student from Bethany Bible College, Bob Coulotte was filling in for him.
I don’t recall what Bob preached on that night, but at the end of the service, I found myself committing my life to Christ and feeling a call to full-time ministry.
And it was completely unexpected. When I told people that I had become a Christian and that I was going to Bible college, they looked at me like I had said I had become a Martian.
There was no context, I wasn’t a churchgoer, I had expressed no interest in spiritual things, I wasn’t seeking God.
At nineteen if I was anything I was a hedonist.
Which is defined in the Collins English Dictionary as: Hedonist: Someone who believes that having pleasure is the most important thing in life.
My philosophy was when I got too old for wine women and song, I’d give up singing.
Although if you asked me, I probably wouldn’t have defined myself as a hedonist because as Mason Cooley once said “The philosophy of hedonism means little to lovers of pleasure. They have no inclination to read philosophy, or to write it.”
So, while I may not have identified as a hedonist, I was a hedonist.
But regardless of my philosophy of life, most people who knew me would say that my life took a 180-degree turn that night, and it was completely unexpected.
This is week three of our “Stories” series here at Cornerstone. And for the next couple of months as a staff, we are focusing on Stories told by Jesus. His parables. And Jesus really was a master storyteller.
I began two weeks ago telling the story of a found treasure, last week Deborah told the story of the workers in the vineyard and this week’s story was summed up in the scripture that was read earlier. It is sometimes known as “The Parable of the Growing Seed”.
It is the story of a small seed that was sown, flourished, and eventually bore a harvest. But for the man who sowed the seed, the process remained a mystery.
Jesus told his listeners in Mark 4:27 Night and day, while he (the farmer) is asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. Sounds like a mystery to me.
But the farmer had been doing it for years even if he didn’t completely understand how it happened, he knew it happened.
But was it really a mystery?
So let’s start with Mark 4:26 Jesus also said, “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground.”
The first thing that needs to be noted is that The Ground was Prepared
I know that it doesn’t say that the ground was prepared, but it does say that the man was a farmer.
I’m not a farmer and I’m not a gardener, but any stretch of the imagination, I would be the person who would simply go out and spread seed on soil that hadn’t been prepared and then wonder why it didn’t grow.
On the other hand, Angela loves to garden, and I love Angela so there have been times that I have been called on to prepare the soil for her to plant her seeds in.
And you prepare the soil by removing any rocks, and breaking the soil up and tearing out the weeds and mixing in the fertilizer and eventually the soil is ready to plant in.