“Again, Jesus began to teach by the lake. . . . He taught them many things by parables, and in his teaching said, “Listen! A farmer went out to sow his seed. . . . The farmer sows the word.” (Mark 4:2-3, 14)
We are now in the season of Pentecost. When you were growing up, you might have known this as the Sundays after Trinity or even “Ordinary Time.” The color for the season is green. Green is the color of growth. During the time between Jesus’ ascension into heaven and His sending the Holy Spirit, we continue to grow in our faith until He returns.
If you look outside, you can see all the green growth in the world around you. We had a cool spring, but now that it is a warmer out, the plants and trees and flowers are springing back to life.
In the past week or two I’ve done lots of planting. I planted flowers at my own house and over at church- geraniums, impatiens, marigolds, petunias and more. I’ve planted a number of vegetables including tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, peppers and a pumpkin. All of these I bought as seedlings. Someone else had planted the seeds and cared for them, and all I had to do was transplant them into my garden. But there have been a few plants that I grow from seed- lettuce, carrots, beans and corn to name a few.
Planting from seed is much more work. The soil has to be carefully prepared. The seed is sowed into holes or furrows and covered back up again. The area needs to be weeded and watered properly. It’s a lot of work. The seed doesn’t plant itself. The soil doesn’t fertilize or water itself. The gardener has to do everything.
That’s the way things are in the Kingdom of God. Jesus pictures the Kingdom like a farmer going out to plant His seeds. The farmer is the one who does all the work. He is responsible for the seeds that he sows.
That’s the way things are in your life, too. God does all the work, just like a farmer planting seed. He has brought the word into your life through His Holy Baptism, Holy Gospel, Holy Absolution, and Holy Supper. The growth in the church and your life is due solely to all His work.
But there are still things that work against God and His word in your life. All is not peaceful in the garden. And that’s what we’ll pick up next week.
Loving Father, as a farmer plants his seed in the ground, so you have planted your word in my heart. Help me to continue to grow in my faith my whole life long. Through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.