Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Parable of the Sower, July 16, 2017

My friends, this Sunday we move into our second Pentecost series for this year:  “Walking With Jesus”

We begin with one of his central teachings … the Parable of the Sower!

╬ “A sower went out to sow seed.”
One of Jesus’ favorite ways to teach is story-telling!  In parables and stories, Jesus uses elements from the everyday lives of people to reveal and communicate deep truths.  Agricultural stories capture the imaginations of agrarian people and turn the commonplace into rich, evocative symbols.  Sheep become communities of disciples.  A budding fig tree becomes the faithful people of God. And in the Parable of the Sower, seeds become the life-giving word of God, scattered across the land, seeking to root and grow and bring forth a harvest of righteousness.

The Prayer of the Day and Readings are below.

We make this journey together, in the company of one another and the One who lights the path ahead1

Blessings to all,

- Pastor Brad Highum

PRAYER OF THE DAY ------------------------------------------------

Lord, you sow your word in abundance.  Help it to find rich soil in us.  Help it to root and grow in us.  Bring forth an abundant harvest of your truth and goodness in us, that we might bless the world you love. Amen.

READINGS -----------------------------------------------------------

First Reading:  Isaiah 55:10-13

10 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.  12 For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.  13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the Lord for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.

Psalm 65:9-13

9 You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide the people with grain, for so you have prepared it.
10 You water its furrows abundantly, settling its ridges, softening it with showers, and blessing its growth.
11 You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
12 The pastures of the wilderness overflow, the hills gird themselves with joy,
13 the meadows clothe themselves with flocks, the valleys deck themselves with grain, they shout and sing together for joy.

Second Reading:  Romans 8:1-11

8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law — indeed it cannot, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.

Gospel:  Matthew 13:1-9

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: "Listen! A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. 5 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. 6 But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 Let anyone with ears listen!"