5 after Trinity

RSS

Readings

Isaiah 55.10-13
Romans 8.1-11
Matthew 13.1-9,18-23

Sermon

Have you been for many walks during Lockdown? We have all been encouraged to get plenty of exercise haven’t we. Where I live is a beautiful rural area and so I have had plenty of opportunity to walk the lanes and fields and see how the seasons have changed in that time and the way in which the landscape has changed from empty fields to full.

This brings to mind a particular field I walk through which at the start of Lockdown was a muddy mess after all the rain we had had. There were even ducks enjoying the puddles. As the field dried out the tractor came along and broke up the big clumps of soil, it then came back and broke it up even more. The next time I saw the tractor it was now the modern sower planting the seeds in wonderfully straight lines across what was a perfectly prepared field, well that’s how it seemed. Within a week or two we started to see small green shoots appearing and as there was a footpath through the field the shoots along that path were trodden down, not to say the birds weren’t having their go too at picking up seeds.

The crop grew but as we continued our walks we noticed that there was a barren part of the field where nothing seemed to grow very well, there were also weeds among the crops scattered across the field and inevitably even with the farmers efforts to remove them there were rocks and stones that prevented growth. As the crop grew so the patches where growth was stunted became clear, the path was more distinct due to a of lack of crop and parts of the field showed stunted growth.

I picture Jesus watching that field in his day and as we are familiar with the story it is easy to pass over and say oh I know that Bible passage and what it’s all about, yet each time we revisit the story, just as I do the field I walk through, I ask the question as to why there are areas where growth is a problem or there is none at all. Of course I know there are weeds rocks and a path but what of that barren area?

Are there barren areas of our life where we seem to struggle to grow, do we find our faith is choked out by the weeds of daily life, do the worries of the present time leave us thirsty and in need of the water that gives life in abundance as the prophet Isaiah intimates in the reading for today.

‘As the rain and snow comes down from heaven, and does not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish …’ Isaiah 55:10

Does your life seem trodden on each day, one thing on top of another pressing down upon you, and the scraps picked over as people criticise or tease?

I wonder what we make of the story when we look at it in the light of our own life.

Perhaps like that farmer in my field when the crops for this year have been harvested those areas of weeds and barrenness need to be fed and made fertile for growth. Perhaps we could identify areas of our lives that need that attention and allow God to feed and nourish us.

May our life be one of fruitfulness for our Lord and may we weed out the weeds whatever they may be, cast out the rocks that trip us and shoo away those birds that whisper in our ears.

May the seed of God’s word fall upon our hearts and minds and may we hear what God may be saying to us, understand it, and act upon it so that our lives produce that crop that gives glory to God.

Questions

These first two questions could be used in discussion.

If you were hearing this story for the first time and did not have the interpretation what would it be saying to you?

What can we identify as the weeds, the rocks, and the birds in life today?

A more personal question you may wish to ponder for yourself alone

I have added a picture of a field to this post with parts that are barren. There’s no growth there. Are there areas in our spiritual lives that seem barren and that we would like to see grow?

Prayer

Almighty God,
send down upon your Church
the riches of your Spirit,
and kindle in all who minister the gospel
your countless gifts of grace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


Page last updated: 7th July 2020 8:25 AM
Bookmark and Share