Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Ineffeciency of Grace

Saturday, June 9
Scripture Reading—Luke 8:4-15

As interesting as the different soils might be in this parable, the most interesting thing in this parable for me is the sower of the seed.  Jesus gives a picture of someone walking along with a bag full of seed over his shoulder.  He is constantly reaching into that bag and slinging the seed everywhere he goes. That's why it lands in all these crazy places—the path where it is eaten by birds, rocky ground without any good dirt at all, and among the thorns.  It doesn't sound like he's a very careful gardener.

I would think in hard times, like the people were enduring in first century Palestine under Roman occupation, you'd want to make sure you didn't waste your seed or your energy.  Can you imagine this sower coming before a Finance Committee of a local church.    “I've got this idea for a new ministry.  I need you to help me get some seed.”   “Where are you going to plant it,” a question comes?  “How are you going to fertilize it?  What kind of harvest can we expect if we back you?”  “Well, I don't really know,” the reply comes.  “ I just thought I'd go start scattering seed here, and there, everywhere and see what happens.  I can't really tell you anymore than that.”

 Most decision-makers I know would not be too enthusiastic about supporting, let alone financing, such a vague approach to mission.

It seems wasteful, doesn't it?  Throwing seed everywhere isn’t responsible stewardship.  But that is the nature of the sower, and that is the nature of God—always sowing the seed, giving as many as possible to hear the good news and receive it.  And isn’t that our job as the church?  Inefficient as it seems, God calls us to keep sowing the seed so that all people hear the good news of God’s grace and mercy. 

Thought for the day:  God sows the seed of the good news freely, giving everyone an opportunity to hear it and respond.

Prayer:  O God, thank you that you are gracious enough to sow the seed of the good news everywhere so that all people might know of your mercy.  Help us as your people to sow the seed joyfully and trust you to do with our efforts what you will.  Amen. 

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