Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Genesis 42:18-28; Psalm 119:73-96; 1 Corinthians 5:9-6:8; Mark 4:1-20

Today’s reading in Mark focuses around the well-known parable of the sower and the seed. This parable is one that most know off the top of their heads. But to many of us, myself included, it is just that, a parable. It remains abstract, something we know, but rarely stop to actively think about. Yet when we do, we can see two very important messages in this simple parable.

This parable is generally accepted to be speaking about the condition of one’s heart. Since it is drawn directly in the passage, this is the first message I see in it. Jesus explains to the disciples, and to us, what each type of soil represents in one’s everyday life. The soil types represent these: a hardened heart; a heart which is eager to accept but not so eager to sustain; a heart that is ripe and will accept but is not tended to and is occupied more with the world than God’s word; and finally, a heart that truly accepts God and allows him to take control. As believers, this message is vitally important to us; we must guard our hearts and keep them as pure as possible for the Lord. In this time, keeping our hearts open and ripe can be hard.

While I was reading, a second meaning occurred to me. One of the soils of the parable is a symbol for community. The ready community nurtures and protects those within it. It is in this that the solution for believers lies – in the community in which we immerse ourselves. We must keep ourselves in the word to keep the plant God has sowed within us healthy. We must immerse ourselves in the church, in Bible studies, in prayer, and in a godly community in general. Through this we can also affect the community around us, helping others’ hearts become ready for the Lord. This season provides the perfect opportunity for us to do this. Today, may we actively try to make our hearts a place where God’s fruit can truly flourish, and through our own actions, make our communities places where God can firmly take root.

Alex Davenport

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