By Beth Horn
“’A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path; it was trampled on, and the birds ate it up. Some fell on rocky ground, and when it came up, the plants withered because they had no moisture. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up with it and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown.” When he said this, he called out, ‘Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.’” ~ Luke 8:5-8
Often times, when I read this parable, I focus on where the seed lands. Knowing that the seed is a metaphor for the word of God, I don’t want to have a heart where the word of God cannot grow and cannot yield a crop more than what was sown. In re-reading this parable in preparation for writing this update, it was the first sentence that claimed my focus: A farmer went out to sow his seed.
- The farmer did what he was supposed to do knowing that was only what he could do. Was he concerned about where the seed fell? Yes.
- Was he concerned with what would happen to the seed? Yes.
- Was he hopeful that the seed would grow and return a great yield? Absolutely.
- Did the farmer actually have any control over the process except for sowing his seed? Nope.
This parable exemplifies what ministry has been like the pass few weeks. Based off what I have been learning through my doctoral readings, I decided to change the children’s program lessons a bit. Instead of reading the Bible story and telling the kids what it means and what is important about it, I decided to read the story and ask the kids what it means and what is most important about it.
Theology with children instead of for children. The first story was about Jesus healing the woman who had been bleeding for 12 years and then bringing Jairus’s daughter back to life. The following is part of the conversation I had with Ashley afterwards (one of the girls that attends the program).
Ashley: Wait, Jesus couldn’t have brought her back to life because only God could do that!
Me: Could God work through someone to do this miracle?
Me: So we know that Jesus brought this girl back to life.
Me: What does this say about Jesus then?
Ashley: He is God.
I left it at that as I could tell by the look on her face that she was thinking about it all. Seeds were planted.
The next week I showed her and her sister, Sasha, two different Bible storybooks and asked them from which ones they wanted me to use for our lessons. They chose one and the other I gave to them to take home. Last week when they came, they told me how much they enjoyed the book as Ashley had read it out loud to them. More seeds planted. I don’t know what type of soil will come through the door in the form of a child, and I have no control over it. I only know that my responsibility is to sow the seed, and I am glad to say seeds are being planted.
May God grow them into a crop that yields a hundredfold!
On your social media, share this blog post with an answer to one or more of the questions. Or in the comments, share your answer.
- Share about a time where God used you to sow seeds. What was the outcome? What did you learn?
- Read a chapter in the Bible, then a commentary about it. Share on your social media what you learned in the process.
- What did you learn about this chapter in the Bible today through Beth and Ashley’s eyes?