The Parable of the Sower is a pat on the back to people like me, at least the way I’ve always heard it. I’m not the rocky or thorny ground. I’m the good fertile ground, where the seed took root. Jesus was saying he likes people like me. Right?
Then on Saturday I’m reading in “Jesus: a Pilgrimage,” and James Martin says this: “It may refer to those parts of ourselves that are open and not open. Can you see your whole self as the field and consider what parts are fertile, what parts are rocky, and what parts are choked with weeds?”
I then went on a two-hour solo drive to Indy, so I had a lot of time to reflect. I could see rocky areas, where I was spiritually passionate about something for a period of my life, but then the fervor subsided. I could see thorny areas choked with weeds–areas like my media consumption and materialism (thank you, American society, for providing weeds in such abundance).
But I was most curious about the seeds that fell on the path and were immediately eaten by birds. Those seeds had absolutely no affect. So I spent a lot of time mentally scouring Scripture, and musing on biblical emphases which have passed me by. What have I just totally missed?
I think for a lot of evangelicals of my generation and older, injustice is not on our righteousness radar. It’s certainly not something I ever heard emphasized growing up in the United Brethren Church. I was two years gone from a Christian college before God put issues of justice and the poor on my radar…and then God forced it upon me in what was practically a Damascus Road experience in 1981. But it’s been there, for ME, ever since.
But are there other biblical teachings which are important, but which I’ve never paid much attention to? I thought hard about that, and came up with a couple possibilities. I’ll keep an eye on them.