Cathedral News, July 16, 2017


This is one of those gospel passages that I read in order to give thanks for how different God is from us.  Jesus, in this parable, describes a God that scatters seed every which way, heedless of where it will land or whether or not it will grow well, hoping against hope that seeds will sprout in unlikely places.  I have often been hesitant about reading too much into this parable because of how quickly it breaks down.  Farmers have to pay for their seed, and so most farmers do not act this way out of necessity, not wanting to waste precious resources on unlikely places of growth.

We are lucky, however, that the Gospel passage is dealing with Grace and Love, things which flow freely and abundantly from God’s throne and which occupy a realm completely devoid of the laws of supply and demand.  This is one of the ways in which God is constantly calling us to grow and emulate the example set before us.  Having been loved with this sort of reckless abandon, we are called to love others in the power of the Spirit.

I have also heard this passage used in somewhat manipulative ways to ask for precious resources with the promise that everything is a gift from God, and should be given away freely in his name, including money set aside for mortgage payments, groceries, the whole nine yards.  While I agree that God, who is the source of every good gift, calls us to be generous; I do not think God calls us to be self-destructive.

So then, as always, we are left with the question of how to apply such an abstract and difficult metaphor to our daily life?  How can we even begin to live into this example?  I suggest we start small.  This parable describes the world as it should be, not the world as it is.  To apply it to the here and now we must ask ourselves how we can change to better point to the reality of God, which is always threatening to break into our world and change it for the better.

We could be a Sunday School Teacher, who scatters the seeds of love among her students hoping that they will take some small part of that love wherever they go.  We could make sack lunches for the homeless.  We could volunteer to be a positive impact in the life of a young person at Big Brothers, Big Sisters.  We could even do something as small as holding our loved ones near.  All of these things point to that world which is constantly becoming.  That world that infiltrates locked rooms to send love out into the world, like the risen Christ in the story of Thomas.

Above all else, we are called to try, even if we don’t succeed.  We are called to scatter seeds, even if they don’t grow.  We are called to love, even if we are not loved in return.

Read the rest of the announcements.