Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!”
“Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. 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. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
Nurturing Your Spirit
Jesus was a realist. He knew that it isn't enough for a follower to be just exposed to his message. That seed of emerging faith must be cared for. He used a wonderful analogy of the seed sown on a path, rocky soil, weedy ground, and good soil. What made sense to his followers two thousand years ago makes just as much sense for us today.
Jesus tells us that seed planted on rocky ground does well at first and then quickly dies because there is no nutrition for the roots to help the plant grow. You have all seen plants that tried to grow up among the weeds. They usually don't do well. They may bear fruit but it is often low quality. Seed that is planted in good soil, is weeded, watered and given lots of sun will do well.
So how do we make sure our spiritual lives are planted in good soil? What does that look like. How do we nurture the spiritual seed that is our soul. You tell me. Give me some ideas. I do not believe there is an all encompassing recipe, a 'one size fits all' What makes all kind of sense for Bill might not be effective for Lisa. In my case meditation in the evening is a part of my daily routine. Wearing the collar when I am in public is another way for me to nurture my own soul. (I am better behaved when I wear the collar)
I recommend that each of you reflect on what you are doing and can be doing to make sure your soul is being cared for.
This writing from Matthew says something else to me. It reminds me that we have a responsibility to each other. So what can we do to help each other grow spiritually? Think on that this week.