“Being a Better Sower”
by Adrienne Bumpers
Mark 4: 3-9 (Parable of the Sower)
“Listen! a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell into good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”
I recently heard an interpretation on this parable and it was encouraging and challenging to me so much that it was important to share. I have often read this parable from the perspective of what seed I am and what soil I find myself in, or what soil I should be cultivating for myself. Those perspectives aren’t wrong, yet there is another lens I now can look through.
Later in Ch. 4, Jesus goes on to better explain this parable stating in v. 14. The sower sows the word. If the word is God (John 1:1) then God is the sower. In this parable, God is sowing seed (word) in all kinds of landscapes and soil. God is generous in the sharing and spreading. God perhaps knows that some seeds will never produce, produce little, be fruitless, or be fruitful.
Regardless, God sows all the seed. For me, this message instantly made me comforted by the abundance of God and also made me ask myself: what if I were as generous as God is? What if I were less stingy with my time, my encouragement, my effort, my resources? What can I do to be a better support to the sower, to better respond to the ways God is tugging me do act, give, say, or pray. I often find myself judging, not willing to put in extra effort, justifying my actions because of the cost which is exactly the opposite of God’s actions. This challenges me to be careful not to withhold and it encourages me to rest in God’s abundance when I don’t feel I have much left in my tank. I hope this perspective can sow some fruit in you.
Prayer: God, you have given us all we have and all we are. You have called us to love and your love is abundant. Help us to be more like you. Amen