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Trinity 6



However many times we hear the parable of the sower, it is entirely natural for us to hold it up as a mirror, to wonder which one am I?

Am I the path, that place where the word of the kingdom never gets a chance to get started? Personally I don’t think I am, otherwise I wouldn’t be here writing this; but scratch the surface a little deeper, are there areas in my life where I am failing to notice God’s love? Are there times when I hear the word of the kingdom and fail to understand it? Plenty, and more than plenty. And who knows what might happen tomorrow? But by God’s grace there is enough remaining within me to keep us connected through prayer and Bible study and worship, however imperfect my contribution might be.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. [Romans 8.38-39]

Am I then the rocky ground, that place where the word takes root and flourishes for a while but when trouble or persecution arise I lose it? Not yet, I might say, I am still here, but have I really been troubled or persecuted? Certainly we all know difficult and challenging times in our lives; my personal experience is that these have served to bring me closer to God. But persecution? Thankfully no. I can only pray that it does not happen, and pray for those for whom it does and is happening.

And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one. [Matthew 6.13]

Am I then the thorny ground, where the cares of the world and the lure of wealth draw me away? That is a very good question for any self-supporting minister or lay person to reflect on from time to time; especially those of us who are called to work or care during those hours when the church traditionally gathers for worship. This is a form of liminality, walking on the edge, a potentially dangerous place from where it is easy to fall; anyone called to this place needs our support and our prayers to sustain them.

He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.’ [Luke 10.27]

Am I then the good soil that bears fruit?

I would love to think so. Do I see a hundred-fold or sixty-fold or even thirty-fold increase of God’s love springing up as a result of anything I do? In truth, I don’t see it. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Something as simple as showing courtesy to someone else while I’m driving might just change their mindset for the day… helping someone might enable them to help others… a kind or consoling word might help to heal a wound or even a relationship… all these I have seen. I am no superhero, but I can be ready to do what I can wherever and whenever I see need, and when I can’t I can still pray. And so the seed grows.

“Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” [Matthew 25.40]

Whenever we’re on a journey it is helpful and encouraging to look out for signposts, sometimes directing us which way to go and sometimes confirming that we are indeed going in the right direction. As we travel through our life journeys, may this parable be not a mirror to judge ourselves by, but a signpost that we might know the best path to take.


  1. Who do you know of that is called to live or work in a place of liminality? How might you be able to support them?
  2. What message of hope and encouragement can you take from this gospel?
Page last updated: Friday 7th July 2023 2:32 PM
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