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July 15

Matthew 13, 20-22

Something to read

As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing.
New Revised Standard Version

Something to think about

Why do you think Jesus told the Parable of the Sower?

One of its messages is that those of us who view ourselves as productive have no right to feel we have succeeded. Spiritual growth cannot be a source of pride - though it is undoubtedly a good thing.

The good soil was there before the seed, or life, or fruit, came to be. It was not chosen as a landing place – any more than was the rocky ground.

Sometimes, a seed lands in a place where it cannot be received. Sometimes, it lands on shallow soil and so doesn’t get very strong or mature. Sometimes, it is sown in soil that has already been colonised by another, less productive, plant, so it can’t survive. We don’t really know why.

We should rejoice in growth. But we must be cautious about crediting people with it, or blaming them when it does not happen.

Something to do

Sow something from seed!

Watching a seed grow is fun and is a living symbol of the limits of your human capability and responsibility. Yes, there are some good habits to learn: feed and water your plant; sow the seed in an environment suitable for it; follow instructions about caring for it.

But the biology behind the growing seed is beyond your control. Perhaps it is the marriage of your effort to your ultimate lack of control that makes gardening so satisfying.

Something to pray

Father, thank you that life and growth are of you, not of me.
Please help me to learn to live in surrender to you, and to rid myself of all pride or self-loathing, as well as all attempts to condemn or control others’ lives. Help me to balance this surrender with a commitment to do my own work in the place where you have planted me as well as I can.
Amen.

Today’s contributor is Anna Potts, a former Regional Co-ordinator for Christian Aid

 

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