Monday, October 9, 2017

2017-10-09 [Month of Mission 2017] Kingdom Parable#1 -- Seeds and Sower

Kingdom Parable#1 -- Seeds and Sower

1 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat by the lake. 2 Such large crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat in it, while all the people stood on the shore. 3 Then he told them many things in parables, saying: "A farmer went out to sow his seed. 4 As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. 5 Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. 6 But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. 7 Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. 8 Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop--a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. 9 He who has ears, let him hear."      (Matthew13:1-9)
This month of Mission also coincides with the 500 hundred year celebrations of the Reformation. The 31st of October in particular, is the day to reckon with, when 95 Thesis were pinned to the Church door in Wittenberg in Germany. These were the statements that exposed the Papal sales of indulgences as a fallacy, bringing about the reformation movement as we now know it. It only takes a spark to get the fire going.

Jesus the master teacher and preacher used illustrations, parables, analogies to address the audiences of his time. In the parable of the sower, He compared his hearers to four types of soils and the receptivity of the gospel seed into the inner soul, are concepts that demand an understanding that evokes faith. The narrative approach is still as effective as it was in Jesus time. The missionary person is someone sent by God to carry the seed of the word, to spread it as he/she teaches and preaches.

The result and reaction of the different soil types are prototype of human types and their responses to the gospel imperative of God's kingdom calling. The preacher/evangelist spreads the seed of the word relying only on the one who sent him to give the increase. You cannot change a soul, but God does the increase, your duty is to spread and scatter the seed.

The preacher is the sower. Some easily welcome the seed of the gospel word, others harden their hearts, others are shallow and are pricked by worldly passions, which waylay them from the true path as they wallow in worries of this life. Other seed fell on good soil and bears much fruit. The word is the seed that the Holy Spirit uses to bring about a change of heart which is lasting and bears fruit of Godliness and depth.

The seed of the word can be snatched from the receptive heart by the evil one, symbolized by the seed that fell along the path. Some fell on hard rock lack depth and wither away quickly. Others fell among thorns and are pricked by worries of this world. The others fell on good soil and yielded 100, 60 and 30 fold. The missionary endeavour hinges on the seed that penetrates deep into the different soils in the global village.

We look to the One who says the labourers are few but harvest is plenty. Pray to the Lord of the harvest to send more labourers. The different contexts, call for cultural and contextual relevance in order to have inroads that are linking us to the reformation mandate of caring. This is a kingdom imperative. Which soil type fascinates you? Lord help me to receive your word by faith alone.
Robert Munthali is my name ,a village Pastor in the Limpopo, Gooldville Mission ,married to Balekeni and blessed with two boys Tiwonge and Gomezga. I like reading and travelling. (Robert is also serving the General Assembly as Moderator.)

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