Friday, April 29, 2011

The Sower

The Sower

I Cor. 3:7-9 So then neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but God who causes the growth. Now he who plants and he who waters are one; but each will receive his own reward according to his own labor. For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.

Jere Gilmore, my 6th grade teacher, introduced me to art, literature and theater and it was fun, fun, fun! In her class, I came to know Van Gogh, Picasso and Shakespeare – and I liked all of them! Why? Because they were distinctive, unique, creative and I could recognize their work among throngs of others. In 1984 my life was in transition – I was pregnant with child #2, we were moving from New Jersey to Indiana for Darrell to take on a new position with IBM, I was leaving a job and a neighborhood that I had loved. During a quick trip home, Darrell took me on an outing to The City (NYC). We went to an exhibit at the Met, Van Gogh in Arles. I was able to get up close and personal with my favorite artist & there was this lovely piece called The Sower! I bought the poster & had it framed & this wonderful replica of the painting has hung in my dining room, kitchen and guest room at my houses since then. I am The Sower, you are The Sower; God calls us all to be The Sower.

For the season of Lent, the staff at my church had prepared a daily devotional guide to reading the gospel of Mark. I was particularly drawn to the parable of the sower. (Read Mark 4) Jesus was calling on me to throw out his seed but I was balking! How can I invite people when our pastor has just died? Really? Oh please, give me a break, give me some time off, and let me regroup! The talking head is sitting on my shoulder and saying, “People will think…” But what does the scripture tell us?

I am thankful for Rev. Melburn Sibley who posted these words of encouragement: We are not responsible for how the seeds we sow are received. We are just responsible, as God’s children, to sow the seeds.

Then Dr. Cindy Ryan who wrote this about putting our lamp on a pedestal: Following Jesus is a light journey. Saying yes to Jesus means we accept his light in us, not to hide it or bury it, but to let it shine. God likes radiant, shiny Christians. Shiny Christians are different than obnoxious, pushy, over-the-top, in-your-face Christians. Radiant Christians exhibit the light of Christ in natural, authentic, joyful ways. Author Elisa Morgan says it well, “When we shine, we hold out the Word of life to a world in deep need. When we shine, we draw others to the source of our hope. Even a single speck of light alters the very nature of darkness.” (from Twinkle: Sharing Your Faith One Light at a Time)

And then Rev. Louis Carr wrote this: In a culture where Christian conversation is faux pas, sowing seeds can be difficult, uninviting and unsettling. As we operate in a world that calls us to go along and get along, we find ourselves as a people of faith suppressing our call to spread the good news. Be encouraged to know that in this passage we are called to simply throw the seed. After we throw the seed our job is done. We are to do the very basic act of seed sowing and nothing more until the harvest comes. Whether it is the act of saying, “God loves you,” to a stranger or helping someone in need, we must understand that a random act of kindness is an act of sowing a seed. From that point we simply let go of the situation and let God do the rest.

I really understood The Sower message when a friend responded to me with these words – “I can’t come then, but please don’t stop asking me.”

A lot of my family and friends have been writing and posting pictures about new growth in the gardens sprouting up in the springtime. Wonder and joy about lettuce and squash blossoms – amazement at unidentified plants- dismay about what did not sprout! Could this not be conversations in heaven about us? Joy, surprise, questions, disappointment, abundance!

Dear friends, I will not stop asking you – and when it is right you will say yes – and God will take it from there between you & him.

Thank you to Julie for sending me the message about “Letting Go.”

If you're stuck in the past and God is trying to take you to a new level in Him..........let it go. T.D. Jakes – email from Julie

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