Catherine Ogle (Winchester)
Luke 8: 8 ‘When Jesus said this, he called out, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear.’
God has created a world of abundance and potential. The humble dandelion flower produces 150 seeds to be blown on the air. A large oak tree drops around 10,000 acorns in a year. There are perhaps 100 billion stars in our galaxy. God’s creation has much more potential than we can imagine.
Jesus tells a parable about a sower who goes out and ‘broadcasts’ by taking handfuls of seed and throwing it across the ground. Some of the seed falls on good soil and is fruitful and brings about magnificent growth. But some seed falls on the path, some among rocks and some among thistles. In these places and conditions the seed doesn’t grow. We understand that Jesus is telling us how and why some people, but not all, are responding to God. The word of God is offered to everyone, but not everyone responds, for different reasons.
It’s interesting that the parable describes ‘how it is’. Jesus makes no suggestion that the farmer should change his practice of broadcasting into ‘narrow-casting’ to save seeds.
As we spread the word, and share God’s love, we too can afford to be generous. Some will fall on deaf ears and cold hearts, but some will fall into good soil and be amazingly fruitful. There will be surprises. We should not judge people. We cannot anticipate the effects of our actions. But we are called to keep acting, to keep sharing the abundant love of God in word and in deed.
When we are a generous, open and welcoming church we are modelling the love of God. We are called to sow seeds and trust our generous God to bring the growth.