Monday, November 23, 2015

Mark 4:20 (NRSV): Being the “Good Soil” to Others

 Mark 4:20 (NRSV): Being the “Good Soil” to Others

And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”

Mark 4:20 (NRSV): Being the “Good Soil” to Others
“And these are the ones sown on the good soil: they hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.”

In the parable of the sower, Jesus clearly differentiates four environments of the sown seed.  Seeds on the “path,” “rocky ground,” and “among the thorns” do not produce fruit that lasts.  The seed, however, sown in “good soil” flourishes with fruit. Christ wants our hearts to be the “good soil” of the gospel message.  He offers us the opportunity to cultivate our human hearts into the rich, fertile soil of love. Our job, as Jesus states, is to not only hear the gospel but to “accept it.” When we accept the unfathomable love of God through Christ, we become a fertile field ready for planting, a field of “good soil” that will, with God’s grace, yield “thirty, sixty, or a hundredfold.”

That’s all good, but what, I often wonder, does this “good soil” look like in our world?  How do we allow Jesus to renew our hearts to bear the good fruit of the gospel so that it can both flourish in us and be, in turn, blessed, broken, and given to our neighbor? If we “look” and “listen” (Mark 4:12), we can see Christ all around us in the reflection of human love, compassion, and kindness. Recently, StoryCorps posted two daughters’ interview with their loving father Ken Morganstern. Listening carefully to Ken’s three-minute interview, we hear the love of Christ cry out to us through the “good soil” of this man’s heart.  In the interview, Ken’s daughters say to him, ”You’ve created such love around you.” I look at Ken’s example of self-giving and happiness, the legacy of love he leaves, and pray that I, too, can cultivate this “good soil” in my small corner of the world.

Please keep each other and our special intentions in prayer this week.  

May you all be blessed and encouraged in the love and peace of Christ.