“Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed.” That is the way Jesus begins the Parable of the Sower and the Seed in Mark 4. He goes on to cite all the places where that seed might fall. It can fall along the path, on rocky places, among thorns or on good soil. Jesus tells his listeners also about what happens to the seed in those various places. Later the disciples ask him to explain the parable to them. And Jesus begins his explanation with, “The farmer sows the word.”
The focus of this parable, of course, is the harvest that is produced. Natural seed that falls on good soil produces a good harvest. The Word of God sown like seed on “good soil,” on those who hear and accept it, will produce a wonderful crop. But while the focus is on the seed and what is produced, we should also give attention to the farmer. His role in this parable is simply to scatter the seed—everywhere. That’s his job.
Beloved, that’s our job also. We are to scatter the Word everywhere by our words and by our actions—by our very life itself. We aren’t to hold back or be selective or stingy with our “seeds.” It isn’t our job to determine whether the seed will take root and produce a harvest, or simply be choked out. It is the work of the Holy Spirit to bring seed to harvest.
I am reminded of this truth every Sunday. All kinds of people come to church service. I am to scatter the seed of God’s Word, but it is the work of the Holy Spirit and the hearts of those who receive that will determine if it takes root and produces a harvest.
Father, may I always and in every place be faithful to scatter the seed of Your Word. Amen.