Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
Seeing recent pictures of people gathered on beeches makes me imagine Jesus teaching this parable in a whole new way. In Matthew’s retelling, there’s a vast group crowded on the beech while Jesus is in a boat ready to teach them: what does he shout? Listen! I imagine they would have needed to listen attentively. In the context of them struggling to hear, Jesus was teaching them the real meaning of listening and hearing. It’s not just about the words going in and nodding politely: it’s about the effect the words have.
When we hear the word of the reign of God, it’s about the depth that the word takes; it’s about whether when things get tough, we hold onto that word; it’s about whether we put God first or whether the priorities of the world get in the way. This is about endurance and not the quick race. It’s about times when we’re isolated and whether we stick with God. It’s about whether we find building up treasure on earth more secure than relying on God’s grace. Here, now, as we seek the ‘new normal’ God is sowing seeds of the reign of God. Let us listen and understand. Let us put aside the ways of the world and our earthly attempts at building church, and let us respond to God’s call so that we might bear fruit a hundredfold.
What is God calling you to hear and understand?
God who sows in our hearts, speak to me that I may understand your word.
Talk to other Christians about what God is saying to the Church, especially as we seek new ways of being church for the sake of the world.