Aloha Friday Message – July 10, 2020 – Grow Where I Send Thee

2028AFC071020 – Grow Where I Send Thee

Read it online here, please. And please, when you visit there, use one of the social media links at the bottom of the page to share this post. Thank you! And remember, we now have a READER VIEW available, so share this link or this email often.

Luke 8:8 Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold.” As he said this, he called out, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”

Luke 8:11b The seed is the word of God. – The Sower is Christ

Matthew 13:23 23 But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.

Aloha nui loa, ʻŌmea! You know this story, don’t you? It’s the Parable of the Sower. When we hear sermons or homilies about this passage, we usually talk about the soil into which the seed was sown. In poor conditions, nothing grows. In fair conditions, something grows but with a low yield. In better conditions, more grows with a better yield. In the best-possible conditions, a sower gathers a wonderful yield. All of that yield, whether 30- or 60- or 100-fold, comes from good soil. We could look at it like this:

  • Poor = 0 yield
  • Fair = 30 X yield
  • Better = 60 X yield
  • Best = 100 X yield

(See also Mark 4:13-28 which includes 26 He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, 27 and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. 28 The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. Also look up Luke 8:11-15 which includes 11 Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. And also 15 But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance.) We aspire to be that good soil in which the seed can be held fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance. We do not want to be the soil that yields less-than-the-best. That’s usually how we think about it, yes? We want to be the “good soil” that has the highest yield.

When we read this, often times we identify with the sower, the farmer who is scattering the seed. He wants the seed to grow, but doesn’t seem to have 100% control over where the seed falls. Some lands in the rocks, some on the path, some in the weeds, and some – hopefully most of it – falls where it grows with great fecundity producing 30 or 60 or even 100 times more seeds in the crop that is harvested. Other times, we might identify with the soil. We are quick to hear the word but slow to take it in and it is whisked away before it can germinate. If it sticks with us for a while, we are shallow and resistive to the rooting of the word, so it sprouts up, but dies quickly. We are so distracted by the temporal and material wants in our lives that when the Word does take root in our hearts, it can’t compete with all the other trash planted there. And once in a while we are so open to the Word, so committed to nurturing its effects in us that we receive the seeds of the Word and its lush harvest is shared. There are several not-so-obvious things to consider here:

   First, the seed falls wherever the sower casts it. The yield depends, in part, on where it is cast. Throw it on the path, and it won’t yield much – it gets carried off by the birds. Throw it on the good soil, and it grows a lot – if you take good care of the growing crop. Toss it into the weeds, and it gets a good start, but gets choked out. Now, the soil can’t move and try to catch the seed, so it has to passively wait to receive the seed. In 3 of 4 cases, there is some yield, some growth that occurs, but the amount of growth depends on where the seed falls and how well it is take care of after it falls. Selah.

Second, the seed grows in all of those conditions. There is always a yield if the seed is received. While the seed cannot – of its own volition – get up and move over to the best soil, neither can the soil – of its own volition – move over to where the seed is scattered. Where the seed can take root, it does, and it yields what it can.

Third, the seed is the Word of God. As we read in Isaiah 55:10-11 10 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Wherever it takes root, it produces a yield.

Fourth, that yield takes time. This is the meaning behind Jesus’ words, “… these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance.” When I think of that idea, I am often reminded of a story about the effectiveness of cramming before exams. If one fails to study and then hopes to gain enough understanding the night before the exam by staying up all night, it’s a bit like the farmer who sows his crops the month before harvest begins. He probably won’t garner much of a harvest.

Fifth, we also need to look at this from the standpoint of the seed. What happens to a seed that is planted in soil? In the beginning, the ground is broken to receive the seed. Then the seed does what it does – it develops roots, stalk, leaf, and breaks the soil again to enter into the light. Then the seed – which is not there anymore, it’s gone, dead, disappeared – carries on as the new plant with the goal of being fruitful. The seed has to die to unlock the miraculous potential of life within it. Once the fruit comes, the fruit must be harvested. Some of the fruit is retained for future planting. Some of the fruit is drastically altered. It is separated from its husk and boiled, or parched, or crushed into ever-finer powder which is mixed with other ingredients, passes through fire, and becomes bread. In most circumstances, the purpose of the whole process is to provide seed to the sower and bread to the eater.

We’ve looked at preparing the soil, but just for a moment let’s look at the sower. Did he give up because some of the seed was lost? Did he give up because the sun was scorching hot? Did he give up because there were rocks, or weeds, or birds? Did he scatter only ONE handful of seed to see how it would do? Or did he sow great quantities of seed tirelessly and then care for it until the time of harvest? What will we do, Beloved, when it’s time to account for the fields and orchards we have been given to tend? Do any of us know a seed-sower who sows in early September and expects a harvest by the end of October? Even more prevalent these days is the one who neither sows nor reaps; they have neither storehouse nor barn (See Luke 12:24 concerning ravens), but they want what the conscientious farmer has done – without putting in the work or without receiving it from God. (Ravens are illustrative of God’s generous gifts of sustenance for all his creatures. (See, for example, Genesis 8:7, 1 Kings 17:4, Job 38:41, and Psalm 147:9.)

If I am a Disciple, I too must sow the seed; and I must sow it everywhere, but take care to sow it where it will be fruitful. I must nurture it. I must patiently persevere. I must make it my mission to provide seed to the sower and bread to the eater. And if I really want to be the perpetuator of seed and bread, I will take a deep, long-term, personal interest in every aspect of bringing in that crop, storing the seed for next year, and baking the bread for today. How about you? Can you see a future in being part of Bread Blessed and Broken? (↔ Music Link) Are we truly One Bread, One Body? (↔ Music Link)  Can you and I grow to our highest potential and give our highest-possible yield? Can we, can you, can I give all of our being to being willing to allow the Word of God to become fruit in our hearts? Will we satisfy the hungry heart with Gifts of Finest Wheat? (↔ Music Link)

Ah, Belovéd, let us be enlightened in the teaching of the Apostle Paul 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. As it is written,

“He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”

10 He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; 12 for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God. 13 Through the testing of this ministry you glorify God by your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ and by the generosity of your sharing with them and with all others, 14 while they long for you and pray for you because of the surpassing grace of God that he has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Indeed, blesséd be God forever! No, Belovéd, I am not telling you to strive for homemade religion – remember we are talking abo0ut The Word who is The Bread of Life – nor am I telling you to give unlimited provision to those who are able but unwilling to sow or reap the grain to sustain physical life, expecting instead for us to do that work for them. I am telling you to assiduously cultivate the Word of God in the most fertile regions of your heart with loving care and hopeful perseverance so that you can feed those who hunger for the Word and plant seeds of Faith in the hearts of many. Our mission is to bring the True Bread to everyone who hungers and thirsts after righteousness.

Keep praying for our friends who are struggling with things that can prevent them from being fully fruitful in all their endeavors. Jesus tells us, “Grow Where I Send Thee.” [There’s a pun on this great song: Go where I send thee! (↔ Music Link)] It’s like my dear friend in Arizona says – Bloom where you’re planted. “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”

Whatever, whenever, wherever, whoever, however, if ever, forever —

at your service, Belovéd!

Please pray with us here at Share-a-Prayer.

Here’s a bonus music link for online readers!

Go where I send thee! (↔ Music Link)

Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture passages are from the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE) New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Creative Commons License
Aloha Friday Messages by Charles O. Todd, III is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Type answer *

Pages Email Newsletter Categories Archives Connect