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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Today’s Reading | Luke 8:1–15

Soon afterwards he went on through cities and villages, proclaiming and bringing the good news of the kingdom of God. The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.

When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable: “A sower went out to sow his seed; and as he sowed, some fell on the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the air ate it up. Some fell on the rock; and as it grew up, it withered for lack of moisture. Some fell among thorns, and the thorns grew with it and choked it. Some fell into good soil, and when it grew, it produced a hundredfold.” As he said this, he called out, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!”

Then his disciples asked him what this parable meant. He said, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of God; but to others I speak in parables, so that
     ‘looking they may not perceive,
          and listening they may not understand.’

“Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. The ones on the path are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. The ones on the rock are those who, when they hear the word, receive it with joy. But these have no root; they believe only for a while and in a time of testing fall away. As for what fell among the thorns, these are the ones who hear; but as they go on their way, they are choked by the cares and riches and pleasures of life, and their fruit does not mature. But as for that in the good soil, these are the ones who, when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance. (NRSV)


Reflection

The Bible I use is still the Bible I was given in 1994, the NIV Bible for Kids. That is what it says on the cover. I get a lot of jokes about it from my friends, and I tell them, “You know what: sometimes I need to hear things put simply, in terms a child can understand.” It is a good starting off point for my studies, and I really like it! It also is partly for sentimental purposes: this Bible has seen every walk of my faith.

What I love about Jesus’ parables and this one in particular is that it speaks so much truth in such a simple context. Jesus’ love is vast, complex, and deep, but when he preaches his word and truth, he doesn’t complicate it; he makes it easy for all ages to understand. There is so much meaning in a parable like this one.

Let us always strive to be the seed that Jesus describes here, retaining his word so we are able to produce a crop worthy of his name. Don’t let life overcomplicate the basic foundation and soil that God has set for us; let us always be aware of the thorns and rocks and choose to stand where we know we will see the light. Simple and easier said than done one might say, but isn’t that what God ultimately wants at the end of the day?


Prayer

Lord, life can be complicated and hard to navigate at times, but I pray that you help me never let the simple truth of your teachings become that. Help me to always strive for a clear and easy understanding of your love. Amen.


Written by Ashley Elskus, Special Events and Membership Coordinator, Center for Life and Learning 


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