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Thought for the week - 16 June 2024

What has changed over the last few years for you? When you look at your life today, what’s different compared to five, ten or twenty years ago? How has your knowledge of God changed? As much as your body has changed? More, I hope!

It may seem facile to ask about changes that we cannot control such as bodily or mental changes, and indeed they are of little relevance compared to our spiritual development. Circumstances and events are of little interest to us here, as they have little or no bearing on our immortal souls. But how have you changed? Have your values of priorities or concerns changed? What bothers you or makes you glad now, and what new ways have you found to love in, or what new things have you found to delight in? What seeds have germinated and taken root in you? Where is emotional and faith-based growth happening within you and how is that nurtured here, how do you nurture it in each other, in these other members of your family? And how did it happen?

How does any change happen? And moreover, how do we stop experiencing it as a negative? Well, life is not a straight line of progression, we all know that’s not how life works and we all know that growth and development is not a straight line of growth – sometimes we have to lose a branch in order to grow, to be pruned to bear fruit or to lose in order to see value in each other.

Today in the parable of the growing seed we find that there is a dynamism about our lives, a spirit moving within us. Every one of us has been planted and nurtured and something is growing within us. Sometimes we don’t see it or even believe it. But it’s there. And how and when it happens, I don’t know, we don’t know, but Jesus says it’s always been there. It is not dependent upon us – the world and the church will continue without us, as we would hope - but we participate in it, we are a part of the ever changing world and therefore have to change with it or sit tight and let it all wash over us, or to put it another, way, forget about us, or jump over us as if we were an obstacle.

This parable Jesus tells is not about gardening or farming. Jesus is using images from gardening or farming to talk about your life and my life. His parable is a metaphor for the way God works in our lives. It’s meant to be an encouragement and to offer hope.

“It is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground,” Jesus says. And I wonder, who are those someone’s in your life? Who has scattered seeds on the ground of your life? In what ways did he or she offer you a place to put down roots, find stability, and get your life in order? Those are seeds scattered in your life by someone. Who is doing that for you today? Where are you finding your growth?

And now, we know what is coming next, or course. For we are seed scatterers too, we have to nurture too, otherwise we wither and, again, become an obstacle to be humoured or ignored. What seeds are we scattering for the life of the world? Maybe you’re asking, ‘what seeds could I possibly scatter?’ – Well, here is a little list – forgive and be reconciled with someone, sowing the seed of love and reconciliation. Put someone else’s interest before your own, sowing the seed which you so much want others to sow in you. Encourage, love, reach out, show compassion, sit with someone in grief or anxiety and don’t judge, just say ‘I’m here for you’ and speak the truth plainly, making love your first and every word. These are the seeds we want to be sown in us, so make them the seeds you sow in others. Share with others the good seed that you are, and flourish not just for yourself., but for them, for us, for God.

What do you wish was growing in the garden of your life? What is missing? Where have weeds taken over? What needs attention? Why is he asking so many questions? He’s asking so many questions because the good gardener is planting His garden and we share in that task, in that hope, in that love, and if we desire growth, we have to plant.

Meister Eckhart, a 14th century German monk, says this about the seeds we’ve been talking about:

The seed of God is in us.

Given an intelligent and hard-working farmer,

it will thrive and grow up to God, whose seed it is;

and accordingly its fruits will be God-nature.

Pear seeds grow into pear trees,

nut seeds into nut trees,

and a God seed into God.


This is very interesting information for me. Thank you for sharing.


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