The readings for Sunday are available here.
Seed is valuable, especially in the ancient world. You don’t just waste it.
Unless you’re Jesus.
Because Jesus tells the story of a sower who scatters seed every which way – and he uses this story as an image that is meant to say something deeply and profoundly true about how God works in the world.
The theologian Robert Farrar Capon points out that parables like this one – the Parable of the Sower – are striking because of just how much grace there is. To be sure, there are different results, but every single thing mentioned in this parable is drenched in the grace of God. There is no corner of this story that God isn’t working within.
The sower goes out to sow precious seed, and he doesn’t just go to the fertile ground – the way that any farmer would. Nor does he labour to prepare the ground, or act in any way as if he is concerned about wastage.
Instead, we get this ridiculous image of a famer going out to sow seed, skipping around as if in some Dick Van Dyke movie, casting seed here and there in a gleeful shower of potential.
It’s as if the sower wants to say – let it fall where it may. Let growth spring forth. Let’s see what happens. This will be fun!
What if this is what the kingdom of God really is like? What if the Word of God is at work everywhere, so singularly willing to give of himself as to be utterly unconcerned with waste or results, simply sprinkling the very source of life every which way?
What if in quiet corners of our world, nestled among the cityscape and the vista, nearly obsured from view, the sower still sows?
It just might mean that abundance, not scarcity, is the true nature of things.
It just might mean that we are always and every one of us utterly saturated with the presence of God. With the stuff of the Divine. Needing only eyes to see, and soil for the seed to take root.
It just might mean real hope.