Reflections of Our Savior
While a large crowd was gathering and people were coming to Jesus from town after town, he told this parable: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on rock, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.
"This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away. The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature. But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” [Luke 8:4-8, 11-15]
Dear Members and Friends of Our Savior congregation:
After reading carefully the above parable, you might agree that Jesus knew much about human nature. More than that, the Son of God knows everything about human nature. More than that, He knows everything about us as He sees into our hearts.
The four general descriptions of hearers of the Word of God probably describe all of us at some point or another in our lives. We all may have had times in our lives that the devil led us into sins that threatened to separate us from our God-perhaps we even lost our faith in Christ. We all may have had times in our lives that God’s Word really impacted us and we thought we were spiritually strong, but trials and difficulties tested our faith and our faith proved weak in the face of the inevitable challenges of life. We all may have had times in our lives that we thought we were standing firm in our Christian faith, but we were really standing firm in earthly, human pursuits and pleasures, and our faith in Christ was choked off to the point that we were no longer confident where we stood with our God. Can any of us truthfully say that we fall into that fourth group of strong, active believers, who produce an abundant crop?
As your pastor, it is always my desire and prayer that we all fall into the fourth group-those active Christians that regularly hear the Word in church and receive Holy Communion as often as it is offered, for the forgiveness of our sins and the strengthening of our faith. These are the Christians that are not only in church regularly, but also live out their faith in their day-to-day lives. These are the Christians that produce an abundant crop of fruits of their faith by their generous support of the church’s ministry. These are the Christians who are bold in proclaiming the Word to others.
In our day-to-day lives we walk on hardened, rocky paths, among thorns and thickets, face to face with troubles and challenges, tempted by an easier road that promises happiness and fulfillment, but only ends up in destruction. The solution? Hear the Word to grow in the Word, to grow and be strengthened in our trust in our Savior. He loves us and gave himself up for us. He paid for our sins. He prepared a place in heaven for us. That’s what God’s Word teaches. That’s the seed that has been sown and is still sown among us.
God bless that Word!