Pastor Scott Hannon
St. John Lutheran Church, Amhert, NY
I’ve spent a bit of my time lately preparing our garden at home. It’s a small raised bed, perfect for a few peppers and cucumbers without being too overbearing (I tend to prefer boat trips and vacation rather than farming in the summer). This year in our garden, I made room for peas.
Before I touched the dirt, I mapped out the space. I wanted to make sure everything had enough room to grow and I really wanted to ensure that the peas could thrive. I picked the perfect location, planted the peas (and everything else), and then set the seed bag on our deck so I could admire my work.
It wasn’t until the other day while mowing my lawn that I discovered I had unintentionally planted way more peas than I thought. See, the seed bag I left on the deck was still pretty full and it had blown across our yard leaving a wake of potential pea plants. My first and only thoughts were: What a waste of seed! Scott, you’re a terrible sower! (Never mind that I was probably going to throw them out anyway.)
In scripture, Jesus tells a parable of a sower who, like me, wastes a lot of seed. Jesus says this farmer is sowing seed and it pretty much goes everywhere – some fell on the path, some on the rocks, some in the thorns and some in good soil. The point of the parable is that only the seed that is sown in good soil produces a crop. Our tendency in reading it is often to wonder whether we are, in fact, good soil. But I say, forget whether or not we are good soil. I think we should ask whether or not the farmer is a good sower.
I mean, I get accidently dropping seed. I could understand losing a few here and there. But to scatter seed on the path, in the rocks and in the thorns without care or worry… what’s up with that? How could any farmer be so intentionally reckless? Isn’t that a waste?
The good news of this parable is that God is this terrible sower and the seed which God so terribly sows is his Word.
The good news of this parable is that God is sowing his Word in our lives all the time- even when we find ourselves “on the road”, “stuck between a rock and a hard place”, and “all choked up”.
The good news of this parable is that we don’t have to be perfectly good soil to receive God’s blessing. (Caveat: If we want to really bear fruit, we should be intentional about tilling our hearts and weeding our lives of all that distracts so we can be good soil.)
I think God can afford to be wasteful with his Word, his Truth, and his Grace because, in truth, it is a never-ending supply. God’s love will never run out and so it’s worth seeing what sprouts up, even if it doesn’t quite look like the ideal place to plant. And so, remember… no matter where you are, no matter what life is like, no matter how rocky or thorny or beaten down, God is sowing his Word in you. I guess the final question is: will it go to waste?
In the Way,
For more inspiration and insights from Pastor Scott’s past columns, please visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on the Faith Matters page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.