Psalm 24 • Jeremiah 1:1-10 • 1 Corinthians 3:11-23 • Mark 3:31–4:9
When I was first contemplating my entry for this devotional, I felt a little desperate. The readings that I have, well, I feel as if I have already said what I can say about them. Prophets? I discussed this last year. Building a life with Christ being the foundation? Two years ago. There is nothing new. This is not to say that there is nothing more to them, just that I have not (yet) found it.
But then I get to Christ’s parable of the sower, scattering the seed over good ground and bad. It is so well known, what is there new, or at least, not so worn, to say? Probably nothing. So I started to think less of the meaning of the seed and the fertile and unfertile ground, and more about the actions of the sower, who can otherwise be known as the gardener or farmer. The parable sounds as if there is this only one opportunity to receive and nurture this seed, and that’s it. But really, it’s a poor gardener or farmer who does this only once. There will be a harvest of what is good, followed by a fallow period, and then it’s spring again. The soil will not be as it was before, and there has even been time to amend it. Perhaps that which was unreceptive or too shallow before is now more ready for the seed. And the sower comes back through, scattering that seed once again. And again the next and every year.
The human heart can be a hard thing. But it is a living thing, and it can soften and change, becoming more receptive to the Word of God. A year can make a great or a subtle difference. Perhaps the lesson for me is to worry less about trying to be profound and just using my head, and instead work the ground of my heart so that it is more receptive. Our lectionary ensures that the Word will come round again, and as long as I live I will have an opportunity to struggle with trying to make sense of much of it. But first and foremost, I must just be ready to receive it.
— Michelle Allen